Graham’s Story to post beginning July 24, 2012

23 Jul

Exactly thirty years tomorrow, on July 24, my then two-plus year old son, Graham Ross Marsden, was diagnosed with suspected cancer: acute lymphocytic leukemia, ALL, to be exact.

Today, Graham lives with his wife, Sarah, and their two dogs in Reston, Virginia. She is part of the Reston homeowners association team, and he is at a director level with Northern Virginia Family Service.

That focused period of the battle for Graham’s life, about five years, is long past. But, rereading the words I wrote for this series that appeared in The Greensboro News & Record, in Greensboro, North Carolina, brings it all back home very quickly.

I wrote the story because I had to. It was a cathartic exercise that enabled me to walk through that arduous event.  I also had the satisfaction of knowing that many other parents in similar situations, whose stories never got told, would benefit as well.

Duke Pediatric Oncology Department reprinted the stories and made them available to the parents of cancer patients.

Parts of it appeared in a remedial reader in its first edition, “The Proficient Reader,” edited by Ira Epstein and Ernest Niertatka and published in 1984 by Houghton-Mifflin. I don’t think you can get a copy of that edition anymore.

News & Record staff photographer Joe Rodriguez shot the photos for the series. His wife, Mary, presented them to me in a special book for that Christmas. I still have them. They are the shots I present with the articles.

I invite you to follow the next six blogs beginning tomorrow. One blog per Part. Each of the stories appeared on the front page of the paper over six consecutive days beginning December 12, 1982.

The response was overwhelming.

L. Stewart Marsden, July 23, 2012


One Response to “Graham’s Story to post beginning July 24, 2012”

  1. Douglas Emmitt July 30, 2012 at 12:24 pm #

    Read it, liked it, many thanks for it

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