Jothy Rosenberg is not a celebrity but an Everyman, which gives his wrenching story of astonishing grit its inspirational power. After being told, when he was nineteen, that he had no chance of surviving the cancer that had already cost him one leg and one lung, Jothy made a decision: He would ski until he died. Instead he became one of the first beneficiaries of then-primitive chemotherapy, a champion one-legged, one-lunged skier, swimmer and cyclist, and an early model of how to triumph over cancer and disability. For anyone who trying to turn a cancer diagnosis, major disability, or even a major life challenge into a character-building experience, this well-written book is indispensable. --Jonathan Alter, Newsweek
columnist, MSNBC commentator, cancer survivor
Anything is possible and Jothy s courageous journey proves that. In his book, you find the inspiration to take the first steps yourself toward a life of greater happiness and wellbeing. --Uta Pippig, legendary marathoner and president of Take the Magic Step
The Pan-Mass Challenge coined the term Living Proof
some fifteen years ago. Nobody epitomizes that phrase, or our mission, better than Jothy Rosenberg. The challenges he has faced in his life have been hurdles, not walls, to leading a fulfilling life. In a world overflowing with hype and artifice, Jothy s journey and triumph is real and inspirational. He is a true role model. --Billy Starr, Founder and Executive Director, Pan-Mass Challenge
From the Back Cover
"You have zero chance of survival."
That is what I heard when my doctor explained the severity of the cancer that had returned three years after it took my right leg. Now the cancer was in my lung, and that would have to be taken as well.
What I heard was that I had no chance of survival. What he actually said was, "No one so far has ever survived once this type of cancer spreads through the blood stream." Same difference to a 19-year-old who had already lived through three years of hell and thought he'd faced the worst. The end was eminent, that was the message.
That was 36 years ago. I survived. And then some.
This book is about how the psyche handles the idea that the end is near, the changes that take place within a person who thinks he will soon die, and ultimately how one can not only survive but fight back, recover and thrive. This is not a "cancer book." Those are written when the survival is new and fresh and the experience raw. Instead, this book, written with more than 36 years of perspective, is about human perseverance, adaptability, and strength.
This is not an autobiography. I am not famous and have not changed the world. But I have a story to tell, one that might help others. I was as devastated as one can possibly be after losing a leg and a lung and enduring a year of chemotherapy, all the while thinking I would die any day. I used athletics to redevelop my confidence and became a double black diamond skier. I earned an advanced degree and went on to become a serial high-tech entrepreneur.
Jothy Rosenberg is a 52-year old above knee amputee. He lost his leg to osteosarcoma when he was 16. Three years later the cancer metastasized and 2/5 of his lung was removed. He survived and went on to get a PhD in computer science, author two technical books, found six high tech companies, ride seven times in the Pan-Mass Challenge bike-a-thon, swim 15 times from Alcatraz to San Francisco, and build a wonderful family with a loving wife and three children.
A portion of proceeds from this book go to the Pan-Mass Challenge for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.