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Book Review: I Want to Help: My Story About Cancer, Depression, and God

April 10, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 151


I Want to Help: My Story about Cancer, Depression, and God

T. Laresca


Dorrance Publishing Co., Inc.

20 pages

I Want to Help is T. Laresca's testimony on how his belief in God saved his life. The author discusses how his faith helped him to survive cancer after being told that he would only have three months to live if the prescribed treatments did not work. In this slim book, Laresca shares with the reader the impact his illness and the subsequent treatments had on his body and mind. He also reveals an incident with police that could have resulted in the loss of his life, had it not been for his unwavering faith.

Pain drove Laresca to seek medical assistance after several hours of suffering at home. Surgery revealed testicular cancer that had spread to his stomach and lungs. Two months of chemotherapy followed. The treatment was grueling and took a heavy physical toll on Laresca. But through it all, the author relied on his faith in God and maintained a positive outlook: "The whole time I believed God would take care of me (2)."

Laresca's credits his remission to his faith and medical treatment. He has been cancer free for over eight years. The next phase of Laresca's journey was unexpectedly difficult. He fell into a deep depression after his treatments were finished. The cancer had stripped him of his independence: he was physically frail, jobless, broke and living with his parents. The author states that depression was a more difficult adversary than cancer because of the shame associated with mental illness and his unwillingness to seek treatment.

After sharing his story about surviving cancer and depression, Laresca discusses a violent encounter with police during which he was repeatedly maced. He writes that he died during the incident. "I remembered something that I hadn't done that I had always wanted to do. That was to help, so I fought my way back... (17)."

This is a short read with a powerful message about the role faith can play in sustaining a person through all types of adversity. The author uses his story as a tool for sharing not only his personal beliefs, but to inform the reader about the mind's impact on the body and how crucial it is to think positively when problems arise in life.

I Want to Help is a straight forward, inspiring piece about a man of faith who wishes to use his story to help others.

Melissa Brown Levine


Independent Professional Book Reviewers

Melissa Brown Levine is a writer, book reviewer and manuscript consultant. She is the author of "I Need to Make Promises: A Novella and Stories." Read an excerpt at

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