Syd Birrell's long-awaited compilation of e-mails written during their son James' valiant battle with neuroblastoma is finally available. I received my autographed copy from Syd (thanks, friend) the other day and I can't put it down. Check out Syd's site for more news and order your copy. You won't be disappointed!
Syd's Book About James
Notes from the site:
This is a book about a family who chose to make their dreams a reality every day, because they never knew if there would be another day for their young son James as he fought cancer. Some dreams were easy to fulfill (going to the farm, or dinner at the top of the CN Tower) and others were outrageous (Dad, I'd like to drive a freight train that's pulling a hundred cars!), but the result was life lived to the fullest – and an inspirational book called “Ya Can’t Let Cancer Ruin Your Day – The James Emails” by Syd Birrell.
"I began writing emails to family and close friends to keep them up to date on James' condition," said Syd, "but soon I found myself drifting away from stark summaries of the medical challenges of the day, and instead began writing about our adventures in living. Our young daughter Rebecca said 'Just because you have cancer doesn’t mean you stop having good times.' So we put aside our grief and fear, and every day we looked for opportunities to live our dreams." Syd Birrell
"Reading these letters is an extraordinary experience. What can a parent say as he watches his child battle with a deadly disease? Syd's words take us into an intimate engagement with that challenge. Perhaps a more intimate engagement than most of us are prepared for. But what we discover here is not only the anguish and fear we might expect. The steady recognition of pain and vulnerability gives us the necessary background for the astonishing discoveries that these letters convey. The real point is how much else is discovered in this candid facing of a child's (and of our own) mortality. We still have no cure for neuroblastoma. But in the courage and the honesty and the love and the generosity of others and the sense of community and the workings of faith that Syd discovers--and so movingly explores-- in theses letters, we discover that which enables and encourages us to live and work in hope and joy. Prof. David Glassco, Trent University