The Power Within: True Stories of Exceptional Patients Who Fought Back With Hope isn't just "another" book about cancer patients and faddish "cures," according to those who have read it, and that includes some people in the medical community. It is the inspiring stories of 10 men and women who, when told they had cancer, reached within themselves for the power to live longer and better lives than anyone thought possible, including their doctors.
Because the book is written responsibly and professionally, the doctors, who often shun these kinds of books, agreed to be quoted after each profile about their patients.
Wendy Williams, a former newspaper reporter who wrote The Power Within, will be in Clearwater next Thursday for two free public meetings sponsored by Friends of the Clearwater Library. The first will be at 10 a.m. in the main library downtown and the second at 2 p.m. at the Countryside branch.
While in town, Wendy, who lives in Wellesley, Mass., will visit her mother, Sylvia, in Dunedin.
Wendy was quoted in the Hartford Courant as saying, "This is not a book about curing cancer, not a book about refusing traditional health care or eating a macrobiotic diet and getting better. It's about what some people did and how they live vital lives with cancer."
In a Providence (R.I.) Journal-Bulletin article, she says, "These people lived longer and better lives than their doctors thought possible. (Six of the 10 are still alive.) We have the corroborating evidence; no one is allowed to make an untrue claim.
. This book has journalistic proof, doctors who are offering their professional good names and saying that, "Yes, this did happen, and I can't explain it.'
Mark Ashton, managing editor of The News in Southbridge, Mass., where Wendy once worked, says in his review: "The Power Within offers living testimony of the human ability to heal bodies, mend minds and restore spirits via an innate life force too often ignored or subjugated to defeatism, despair or lack of vision.
"Here is a book detailing the "perverse benefits of cancer' while highlighting the personal benefits of cultivating the limitless "power within' every human being. The power within is the one power human life can't live without."
Ashton, by the way, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease at the age of 16. He's 42 today.
Art show ends, Comets soar
If you're in Dunedin on Saturday for Art Harvest, you may want to stick around for a free concert in Dunedin Stadium featuring Bill Haley's Comets ("One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock rock"), the Sevilles, Mike Merritt from the original Coasters and a dance group called the Original Rockers.
It's free from 6 to 10 p.m. Art Harvest ends at 5 p.m.
The concert had been planned as a fund-raiser, with $10 tickets, to help pay for the recent stadium renovation, just like the Oktoberfest, which netted nearly $10,000. But ticket sales weren't going very well so city officials decided to make the concert free as a first annual thank-you to all of the community volunteers who help put on events such as the Oktoberfest.
But everybody's invited.