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

When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air

By Dr. Paul Kalanithi

After neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, of California, received a diagnosis of stage IV lung cancer in May 2013, he began to write about his illness, and the process of being sick, as a patient rather than a doctor.

“When Breath Becomes Air,” published 10 months after Dr. Kalanithi’s death in March 2015, captures the essence of life and living from a scientific perspective.

But it is the young husband and father’s attempt to answer the question, “What makes a life worth living?” that touches the soul. Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, Paul’s widow, wrote the epilogue for the book, which became a #1 New York Times bestseller.

She remains engaged in writing and speaking, at a national level, about caregiving, end-of-life care, bereavement, resilience and meaning in medicine.

Camp Chemo: Postcards Home From Metastatic Breast Cancer

By Camille Scheel

Camille Scheel of St. Paul, MN, began writing on her CaringBridge website in 2007, after being diagnosed, at age 38, with Stage III lobular carcinoma — breast cancer. (She passed away on Aug. 26, 2017.)

After multiple surgeries, chemo, and radiation, she came to accept that the cancer isn’t going away.

She writes in “Camp Chemo,” “Cancer changed my world dramatically, but I still have goals to accomplish and ideas to explore. I know my future plans will unfold slowly and not always according to schedule. But today is a good day. My pain level is minimal. My mobility is good. I’m well-rested. A newly FDA-approved medication is keeping the cancer asleep. My husband and kids are healthy. Those are blessings to be celebrated.”

Fly a Little Higher: How God Answered a Mom's Small Prayer, in a Big Way

By Laura Sobiech

Zach Sobiech was 18 when he died from complications of osteosarcoma in 2013. His CaringBridge website, written by Zach and his Mom, Laura, has received nearly 1 million visits.

To say goodbye to his family and friends, when treatment was no longer effective, Zach wrote a song called “Clouds” that was made into a video. The song and video went viral, and have touched millions of hearts around the world.

Zach’s story, told in “Fly a Little Higher,” by Laura, is not just about cancer, and not just about music. It’s about what happens when you live as if each day might be your last.

It’s about persistence and the human spirit. And it’s about how God used a dying boy from a small Minnesota town to reach the hearts of so many.

Buy it on Amazon.

Don't Postpone Joy: Adventures With Brain Cancer

By Michael Bischoff and Jennifer S. Larson

In the fall of 2015, Michael Bischoff was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer. As a husband and father of two young children, he hopes for a cure, of course. But his main focus is on finding wholeness in each moment.

For Michael, the journey toward wellbeing is an ongoing process that is physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational. “I’m in a thin place between life and death, between receiving and giving, between right now and the eternal, between joy and grief,” Michael wrote in his CaringBridge Journal. “My vocation now is receiving love, acknowledging that, and allowing it to keep moving.”

The book “Don’t Postpone Joy: Adventures With Brain Cancer” is a collaboration between Michael and his wife, Jennifer Larson, a photographer and graphic designer.

Hope Conquers All: Inspiring Stories of Love and Healing from CaringBridge

By Sona Mehring

On June 7, 1997, CaringBridge founder Sona Mehring launched one website to support a close friend who endured a life-threatening pregnancy.

Baby Brighid lived only 9 days, but her legacy is reflected in more than 675,000 CaringBridge websites, with 2.1 billion visits, created since 1997.

“Hope Conquers All” contains stories from people of all ages and backgrounds. The adversities they face vary greatly, from children with cancer, to adults requiring life-saving transplants, to victims of horrific accidents, but their stories are unified—hope does conquer all.

And CaringBridge is a place where hope grows. It’s a website that helps people reach out and stay in touch through moments of great need. It inspires them and instills hope; it helps foster and encourage much-needed emotional connection.

These intimate personal stories, which reveal the underlying spiritual presence that connects us all, will encourage people to create channels of love and support in their own lives.