Bookshelf

We created the Bookshelf for a place to highlight CaringBridge website authors who have written books about their health journey. Some people publish a book to close a chapter, and others publish a book as a way to honor and grieve the loss of a loved one. If you are a CaringBridge website author or co-author who has written a book about your experience, and would like to have your book appear in this list, please send us an email at bookshelf@caringbridge.org.

Forward

Forward: First American Unsupported Expedition to the North Pole

By John Huston and Tyler Fish

In March 2009, adventurers John Huston of Evanston, IL, and Tyler Fish of Ely, MN, stepped off the North American continent and onto the frozen surface of the Arctic Ocean. Their goal was to be the first Americans to travel under their own power to the North Pole, without re-supply.

Over 55 days, the duo skied, hiked and swam—yes, swam—across nearly 500 miles of ice, snow, rubble fields and stretches of open water.

“Forward” recounts a most incredible, and successful expedition, including the planting a CaringBridge flag at the North Pole.

John writes, “From the beginning, Tyler and I wanted our expedition to benefit a charity. Given our values of optimism, humility and responsibility, CaringBridge was the perfect fit. Whether supporting a loved one through a health crisis or skiing to the North Pole, to us it’s all about the mental side of challenge.

“In our minds, the challenges we faced on the ice were small compared to the challenges people deal with in times of health crisis. While traversing a field of snow waves or repeatedly struggling to warm up our hands, Tyler and I would often think of people where were facing bigger challenges, and how lucky we were to be following our dreams. These thoughts quickly squelched any complaining or self-pity.”

Published in 2011, “Forward” was a 2012 Minnesota Book Awards Finalist.

Buy Forward on Amazon

27 Miles: The Tank's Journey Home

By Lisabeth Mackall

On January 2, 2012, Minnesota police officer Frank Mackall was responding to a call for assistance from one of his partners. On the way, he hit a patch of black ice and crashed his squad car into a tree. He was airlifted to the hospital, suffering from a traumatic brain injury.

27 Miles: The Tank’s Journey Home is the story of his wife Lisabeth’s emotional journey during his 84 days of recovery. Lisabeth, a speech pathologist, began documenting Frank’s progress on a CaringBridge site, and those entries became the basis for this book. She was inspired by her husband’s struggle, and by the amazing support she received from the community and from Officer Mackall’s brothers and sisters in blue.

Lisabeth says: “Every day we can be present, we can find joy, love and happiness, even when life may be scary and uncertain. Take the time to be part of your life, because each day is a gift.”

Buy 27 Miles: The Tank’s Journey Home on Amazon

Cards for Brianna: A Mom's Messages of Living, Laughing, and Loving as Time Is Running Out

By Heather McManamy with William Croyle

After being diagnosed with breast cancer in her early thirties, Heather McManamy felt like her life was crumbling. Her “normal” vanished―replaced with multiple surgeries and chemo treatments that might only briefly extend her life.

With a new perspective and effervescent spirit, Heather began to live each day as if it were her last. She learned to revel in the moment, appreciate beauty around her, celebrate her blessings. She also pondered her daughter Brianna’s future journey without her―and decided to prepare for it.

Heather began to write cards to Brianna. For her first day of school, her sixteenth birthday, her wedding day. Cards for when things were going right and when they were going wrong—times when Brianna would need her mother. Cards for Brianna is the story of a mother’s powerful love for her young daughter, laced with charm and laughter, and a reminder never to take a single day for granted.

Buy Cards for Brianna on Amazon

Get the Audiobook of Cards for Brianna from Audible

Hope's Wish: How One Girl's Dream Made Others Come True

By Stuart and Shelby Stout

When Hope Stout was diagnosed with bone cancer at age 12, her parents prayed for a miracle. A miracle occurred, but not quite in the way anyone expected. Instead, Hope asked for something impossible: that one million dollars be raised in one month to fund the wishes of ALL 155 children on the Make-A-Wish Foundation list for Central and Western North Carolina.

Hope didn’t live to see her wish fulfilled, but donations began to pour in. Children brought in contents of their piggy banks; older kids donated babysitting money; a homeless man in Charlotte gave what little he had. On the night of the gala, $1,116,000 had been raised and money was still coming in.

Shelby and Stuart Stout were inspired to write Hope’s Wish after compiling a journal of the brief 191 days from Hope’s diagnosis to her death. Their heartfelt story includes the times they were angry and desperate, as well as the times when Hope’s humor and spirit shone through.

Buy Hope’s Wish on Amazon

Chemosabee

Chemosabee: A Triathlete's Journey Through the First Year of Breast Cancer

By Nancy Reinisch

After a diagnosis in 2006 of invasive ductal and lobular breast cancer and the BRCA gene, triathlete and psychotherapist Nancy Reinisch of Glenwood Springs, CO, wrote a book based on her CaringBridge Journal entries and personal photos, as well as words of wisdom posted in response from family and friends.

In “Chemosabee,” Nancy shares how she maintained her health, fitness and sanity through a year that included chemo, mastectomies, reconstructive surgery and a BRCA 2 diagnosis. She uses her psychotherapy skills and coaching tips to describe what healing can look like, and to inspire others on cancer journeys.

Nancy continues updating her CaringBridge site as treatment continues for a recurrence of cancer diagnosed in 2016.

Buy Chemosabee on Amazon

Strong is the New Pretty

Strong is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves

By Kate T. Parker

Fourteen-year-old Grace Bunke of Marietta, GA, whose health journey with malignant osteocarcoma has been captured in the CaringBridge series How We Heal, is among the fearless girls featured in Kate T. Parker’s “Strong is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves.”

A photographer and mom of two daughters herself, Kate traveled the country to capture what strength looks like. In the case of Grace, diagnosed with bone cancer at age 11, in 2014, she swam over three years through chemo, lung surgeries, partial amputation of her leg, and an immunotherapy clinical trial.

Not only did she swim, but Grace set PRs (personal records) in seven swim events, in the midst of radiation to her spine, after her cancer came back in 2017.

In this video, watch and hear Grace talk about going for your dreams.

Buy Strong is the New Pretty on Amazon

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