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Perseverance: True Voices of Cancer Survivors Hardcover – August 18, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Forge Books; 1st edition (August 18, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765317788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765317780
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,878,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Incredibly life affirming and inspirational.  I loved it!”
--Peter Walsh, New York Times bestselling author of It’s All Too Much! and Enough Already

Perseverance will move you to tears, teach you to appreciate, and inspire you to persevere.”
 --Tal Ben-Shahar, New York Times bestselling author of Happier and The Pursuit of Perfect

Perseverance puts a very human face on courage and strength. Carolyn and the young people she has worked with are an inspiration to us all.”                                 
--Gay Hendricks, New York Times bestselling author of The Big Leap and Conscious Living

"With tremendous respect and grace, Carolyn Rubenstein tells the stories of twenty survivors of childhood cancer -- in their own words. Through these real-life tales of survival, Perseverance offers not only great hope to those battling illness or caring for a loved one but also profound insight for all of us seeking to lead a meaningful life."
--Daniel H. Pink, New York Times bestselling author of A Whole New Mind

"Perseverance...is an inspirational story about the joys of living in the moment, courage in the face of extraordinary challenges and the power of love."
--Publishers Weekly

“In Perseverance, Carolyn Rubenstein has passionately gathered together the stories of childhood cancer survivors, and I am humbled by their courage.  These kids have managed to keep their ultimate goals in mind, to find the beauty in every waking hour, and to live to the fullest in the face of a terrifying disease.  That so many have gone on to thrive in young adulthood is a testament to their strength of spirit and their indomitable nature.  Everyone can learn from these stories and the lessons Carolyn has shared with us. Read this book and be inspired!!”
--Jon Gordon, international bestselling author of The Energy Bus and Training Camp

“With Perseverance, Carolyn Rubenstein has given us a powerful and inspirational book filled with amazing stories of childhood cancer survivors. This book will touch your heart with tales of hope, challenge, and survival.”
--Marshall Goldsmith, Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Succession Are You Ready? and What Got You Here Won’t Get You There

“The lives of the young adults in this book are monuments to strength, courage, and resilience.  Carolyn Rubenstein has put together a treasure."
--Karen Salmansohn, author of The Bounce Back Book and How to Be Happy, Dammit

“A beautiful and inspiring book.  Each page is a gentle reminder that life is a gift and every moment should be celebrated and embraced with passion and gratitude.  The lessons shared within these pages are not only for those of us who are fighting cancer but for all of us who struggle to live a life with purpose, joy and meaning.”
--Sandra Magsamen, artist and author of Living Artfully

Perseverance beautifully organizes reminder after reminder that every moment is precious.  As a long-time cancer thriver, I would not trade for the resources I was able to tap into by looking at the fragility of my own life.  Perseverance serves as a tender wake-up reminder that the present is the future we worried about in the past.”
--Marion Luna Brem, international speaker and business guru, author of The 7 Greatest Truths about Successful Women


Perseverance demonstrates the practical application of hope in everyday life.  Its true stories of cancer-conquerors will shed new light on what it means to overcome adversity.”
--Kevin Milne, author of The Paper Bag Christmas and The Nine Lessons

About the Author

Carolyn Rubenstein has spent most of her life working with children with cancer. At age 14, Rubenstein started “Carolyn’s Compassionate Children” (CCC), a non-profit organization that began as a pen-pal program for kids with cancer. In recent years CCC changed focus to providing scholarships to childhood cancer survivors. A native of Boca Raton, Florida, Carolyn Rubenstein  is a graduate of Duke University.  She began a PhD program in clinical psychology at Harvard University in the fall of 2008.


More About the Author

Carolyn Rubenstein has spent most of her life working with children with cancer, in one form or another. She first met "kids with cancer" when she was six years old, and visited Camp Sunshine in Maine. Even at that young age, meeting these children affected her deeply--they were her peers, but considered "different." But really, Carolyn realized, they weren't different at all. She made dear friends at that camp, and it started her on a path.

That path has taken many turns. At 14, although still just a kid herself, Carolyn started "Carolyn's Compassionate Children" (CCC) a non-profit organization that began as a pen-pal program for kids with cancer. As the years passed, Carolyn "grew up" with many of her friends with cancer, and saw the financial difficulties they were facing when it came to paying for college. Often, these young people had so much medical debt that paying for school seemed out of the question. To address this need, CCC changed focus from just a pen-pal organization to one that provides scholarships and support to childhood cancer survivors. In addition to providing its own scholarships, today CCC features on its website the "CCCpedia," a database accessing information about more than 3,000 college scholarships for young adult cancer survivors.

A native of Boca Raton, Florida, in 2007 Carolyn graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Duke University with a BA in psychology. She began her PhD program in clinical psychology at Harvard University in the fall of 2008. Now age 25, in her free time she practices yoga, writes letters, and spends as much time as she can with her family, her friends, and her dog Lila Rose.

Carolyn has appeared on NBC's Today Show and Fox News Strategy Room, and has been profiled in the Boston Globe. Carolyn is a Featured Blogger on the Huffington Post and also blogs on Psychology Today.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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This book is a must for anyone currently battling cancer, a survivor, a caregiver, or anyone who loves books!
Caleb M. Scoville
In "Perseverence", Carolyn Rubenstein manages to draw together differing stories of cancer survivors into one amazing and inspirational book.
Daniel Pack
Each and every story touched my heart, and inspired me to try and live my life with a more positive and open attitude.
Tracie E. Ervin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Silvers on August 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Every once in a while we run across little gems that are so special that they change our lives forever. Carolyn Rubenstein's Perseverance is one of those rare and special jewels. I can't remember the last time I have felt so passionate about a book. The stories are bright, funny, inspirational and most of all full of life. I love each and every person I met in Perseverance. Their stories dance off the pages daring you to walk in their shoes, go through what they went through, and find the joy in life. Put down your coffee and pick up this book. You will never be the same
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
How would you cope if you were diagnosed with cancer as a child or teenager? A cancer diagnosis is daunting for anyone, but how much harder can it be for a young person? This book contains the stories of 20 young people who have battled with cancer. Sadly, they have not all won their battles and for some the battles continue.

Each of the twenty contributors tells the story of their diagnosis, of their subsequent trials and tribulations and the unique challenges that they each have faced. They share, too, their triumphs and their motivations.

`Cancer, or having cancer, doesn't define you, but it does let you know who you are and what you're capable of. And you soon realize that you are capable of so many great things.' Without exception, each of these young people has overcome great odds in order to achieve important goals. And that is one of the key messages for those of us reading their stories: to make each moment count. Or, as one of the contributors wrote: `Life is brief without guarantees. Procrastination may lead to regret; the only day you have to enjoy is today.'

There is sadness in these stories: cancer treatment is frequently invasive and painful, has its own rules and protocols and is not always successful. Friendships are made and broken, family members suffer. No-one wants cancer in their lives. And yet, these young people have managed to persevere and to live lives that may be constrained by cancer but are not defined by it.

`Make every day a good day, every moment a good moment.' These are indeed words to live by.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Javier on August 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Carolyn has done an extraordinary job in capturing the essence of life and determination in each of the 20 individuals. The individual stories are such that every reader can find a thread either in her / his experience or a friend's or relative's experience with cancer. At this age, cancer does not come from the result of earlier life choices but rather comes without warning or discretion. From the stories, you can tell that Carolyn has shown personal interest and desire to channel the feelings of the cancer survivor to the reader. As you open the book and scan the first pages, you'll find that one of the individuals did not live to see the book come to reality, but Carolyn has ensured that his story lives on for others to draw inspiration.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Colleen E. Clyder on August 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Sometimes when we go through a difficult experience, we are not focusing on how difficult it is-- we focus on getting through it. This book really takes you through the emotions one experiences throughout their battle- before, during, and after. This book would not be possible without Carolyn-she is truly amazing, simply put.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lori Kasbeer on November 25, 2009
Format: Hardcover
No one can read this book and NOT be changed by the stories Carolyn shares with readers. You either know someone personally or you know someone who knows someone that has been affected by some sort of cancer. Readers will carry each story with them for the rest of their life. You think you are having a bad day, pick up the book Perseverance. This is a powerful book, filled with powerful stories. A must read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of the stories of 20 young people who have battled cancer - all types of cancer from leukemia to brain, lymphoma to ovarian. The youngest was diagnosed at the age of 2, the oldest at 20. All but one of them are still alive.

This is a tremendously inspiring book to read, in part because (as Rubenstein points out), each of the people interviewed believes that cancer is has been a highly positive force in their lives. Many spoke about having a fresh appreciation for life or how their religious faith had deepened because of their experience. I was also struck by how many had subsequently made career decisions to go into medicine, psychology or another field working with pediatric cancer patients. "I see it as something that has set me on the path I am now on, a path towards helping others" writes one. "This is a bonus life - there's nothing for me to lose", writes another,

However parts are also difficult read, because the experiences that these kids - and their families - go through are not ones that you would wish on anyone. Again and again they talk about the isolation of cancer, with friends not knowing how to react to them and not being able to attend school or go to parties like other teens. Invasive and painful treatments with hideous side effects like memory loss or blistered throats. Hair loss - "I'd just learned to style it the right way", one girl ruefully comments. Doctors who seem indifferent to the pain that they subject patients to ("Have a nice day" a doctor tells one patient after delivering his diagnosis). And even once the cancer is in remission, many suffer ongoing depression and survivor guilt.
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