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Thursday, May 3, 2012

It's not the size of the person, it's the strength of the voice....

Hello again everyone!
Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers….the place where you can go on a bookish holiday any day of the week.  The week of HOPE continues with another true story of inspiration, dedication, and love.  For those of you that are weepers (as in heart felt, sad, yet moving stories release the flood gates….*raises hand*), you probably want to have your box of tissues at the ready…just in case.

Now, don’t let that warning fool you, this is an INSPIRING book featuring a young lady struck down in what should have been the prime of her life and while most of us may be throwing out some rather colorful words at a time like that….her spirit remained beautiful and untouched giving hope to those whose lives she reached and will still reach even now.  Please allow me to introduce you to this young woman and her family through today’s featured title….


Never Give Up:
How to Find Hope and Peace in Adversity
By

About the book….
When Ruthe Rosen’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Karla, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor and given only a year to live, Ruthe and her entire family did more than cope with the unimaginable—they embraced it. In their love and faith they found the strength to be there for Karla in every way as she endured chemotherapy and radiation treatments. And when, after a year of hopes lifted and hopes dashed, Karla lost her fight with cancer, they created The Let It Be Foundation in her honor, turning their memory of her courage and unwavering optimism into a legacy of community service. Throughout her ordeal, Karla never succumbed to self-pity or despair, and despite their grievous loss, neither did her loved ones.

The Let It Be Foundation helps families with children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses or medical conditions. It provides such services as housekeeping, grocery shopping and meals, opportunities for family recreation, and help in meeting the needs of siblings. This caring assistance allows the children and their families to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives and sustain hope as they battle the most serious illnesses. Ruthe Rosen’s experience and the lessons she learned will inspire, educate, and provide readers the tools to make a difference in the lives of others.

Proceeds from the sale of this book will benefit The Let It Be Foundation.


 


This was a remarkably uplifting tale despite the obviously dreaded outcome.  No one wants to so another succumb to the devastating effects of any disease and yet many do….every day.  Some do so with courage, some with a respect for what they are facing but a determination to beat it against all odds.  Some fear it in their heart of hearts so desperately that they hide away from the world and pass into that great beyond without a hand to hold.  There is no judgment I could pass regarding any of these reactions; after all, who am I to say how one should react to live changing, potentially life ending news?  No one….that’s who.  It is up to the person affected to decide how they will move forward.  Whether to endure or rise above, there is no wrong choice….but for Karla, there was never a decision to be made.


Karla

Young Karla was a mere 14 years old when diagnosed with a tumor that could not be removed through normal means but instead of looking at her life-yet-lived and thinking “woe is me” she made it her goal, nay her mission to turn the time she had left on this earth into something so much more.  With a heavy reliance on her family and her faith, she didn’t spend her days in shadow but sought out the sun.  She had good days where life would be almost back to “normal” and laughter came easy and bad days where to simply share her smile was almost an insurmountable task; each of these were taken with a grain of salt because the end was too dire to contemplate but coming nonetheless. 

Every step of the way, Karla focused on the moments, not the end.  Why?  Because it wasn’t something she could change on her own and everything else was something she could affect.  She put her life into the hands of the powers that be and held tightly to those around her.  She sought out ways to share her story as one of hope and courage to raise money for research but also to aid those that find themselves in situations similar to her own by providing them with a little comfort, something to keep as much normalcy in their lives as possible.  Let’s face it….we get upset when the smallest of things puts a kink in our days; news of this magnitude can completely throw anyone off track. 

The thing is life doesn’t stop because a dreaded diagnosis was received.  It continues marching forward unrelentingly for the one it directly affects as well as those that surround them.  As Karla’s story shows, being able to do as much as possible of “the usual” can truly be a blessing in disguise.  All the things we take for granted have a new sheen to them.  All the mundane and trivial becomes more than ordinary and something to be accomplished.  With these thoughts in mind, Karla started creating care baskets for those facing their own battles with cancer…and with her memory and spirit leading them forward this endeavor was taken even further after she passed away with the creation of the Let It Be Foundation.  (For more on the foundation as well as how you can help, just click the link.)

Though I actually read this book a few months back, I still tear up when thinking about her courageous story (…and yes, I just grabbed a tissue while typing this….) and all she managed to accomplish.  The inclusion of family pictures (some of which are seen in this post and can be viewed along with others in the online photo gallery on the book website), emails sent and received and Karla’s own journal entries makes the journey that much more personal.  Of all the lessons one could glean from these pages, perhaps most importantly she showed us how to have grace in the face of adversity, how powerful true faith can be, and how important it is to be connected with one another so as to both give and receive strength as needed.  That helping hand of a friend or neighbor, that quick email of “hello” or tweet of “thanks” goes a long way in building those connections and bringing this great big world of ours into a more “huggable” form.  Though the miles may separate and the time may not always be readily available, making the effort to show you care is always worth it in the end.

Author Ruthe Rosen
Review copy provided by Babs at PR by the Book.  (THANKS!)  For more information on their services, feel free to visit them online, like them on Facebook, or follow along on Twitter.  To discover more about this title including the story behind it, the foundation created to honor Karla’s memory and mission, or simply to pick up a copy of the book yourself, be sure to stop by the official websites.

Until next time…happy reading…






2 comments:

Melissa (My World...in words and pages) said...

Oh wow. This week is going to make me cry before it's over. Sad and happy cries. Thanks for the amazing review!

....Petty Witter said...

Sounds so sad and yet so inspirational, thanks for sharing this with us.

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