was Breast Cancer Awareness Month and I know you were all flooded with messages and images
having to do with breast cancer.
Does that mean we can turn away from it and not think
about it again until next October? No. I'm going to ask you to think about it just one
more time for the sake of my friend Laura. She was my co-author on a series of books about
miracles. The last one we did together was called Heavenly Miracles.
When I learned that Laura would not live to see that last book published, I did an
e-book excerpt version in order for her to be able to participate one last time. Laura's
e-book became an instant bestseller. And the thousands of emails and prayers that people
sent eased her final few weeks.
Laura died two years ago, November 4, 2000. And although I'd been in the book world for
twenty years, when Laura died I just didn't want to think about books again. She'd worked
alongside me in the publishing world, too, and if I no longer had Laura to work with I
didn't want to write books, didn't want to read books, and certainly didn't want to
publish any new projects.
In the back of my mind, though, there was a small thought that wouldn't go away. It was
an idea for a book that had formed in my mind when Laura first called me with her
diagnosis so many years ago. She was 32 then, the mother of two small children, and
Here was my thought -- that what breast cancer patients like Laura needed was not
another scary medical book that talked about their "condition" or their
"treatment" or their "prognosis". No -- what women like Laura needed
was a beautiful book that would make them feel strong, make them feel hopeful.
At the time, I hadn't been able to convince my boss to let me do it. Maybe now was the
time to try again. Despite my depression and sadness I picked up the phone to get yet one
more book started on its way.
That book now exists.
And it is beautiful indeed. The cover glows with the warm orange, blue and green of the
famous breast cancer stamp you see everywhere.
The Breast Cancer Book of Strength and Courage: Inspiring Stories to See You Through
Your Journey was published by Prima Publishing just a few weeks ago.
No, I didn't write the book. But I was able to convince Ernie Bodai, the amazing breast
cancer surgeon who was the driving force behind the United States Postal Service's Breast
Cancer Research Stamp, to join forces with a woman named Judie Panneton to collect stories
from survivors around the country who all shared their stories in the hope that other
breast cancer patients could tap into their bravery and fortitude. To extend a warm and
knowing hand towards
those who had just been diagnosed -- to reach across the distance and place a loving
arm around their shoulders to give them strength when they and their family need it most.
I didn't have the strength to talk to survivors because my friend had died. But Ernie
and Judie got the job done for me.
I can't give a copy of this book to Laura since it's too late. The book is here for
you, though. You can give The Breast Cancer Book of Strength and Courage to a
friend who needs it, you can donate a copy to your local library so that a frightened
woman can find it there on the shelf. Or you just might need it yourself right now.
The breast cancer stamp has raised millions for breast cancer research -- more than
thirty million dollars. And Dr. Bodai's royalties for this official stamp tie-in go
straight to funding more research and education. Between the book and the stamp, perhaps
in another few years the cure will be found.
Please help me make this book a success, for all of us. Go to your local bookseller or
your favorite online site and tell 'em Laura sent you.
Jennifer Basye Sander is a writer and book packager, specializing in inspirational
titles like her bestselling series of Miracle books from Wm. Morrow. "Christmas
Miracles" was a NYT bestseller and continues to delight readers every year during the
holidays. You can email Jennifer at