KUCI 88.9fm

KUCI 88.9fm
Live & streaming

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tim Wendel is a Washington DC-based author and he joined Janeane 4/9 at 9:00am to talk about his latest book, Cancer Crossings.

Cancer Crossings
A Brother, His Doctors, and the Quest for a Cure to Childhood Leukemia


LISTEN to today's show with Tim Wendel!


When Eric Wendel was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 1966, the survival rate was 10 percent. Today, it is 90 percent. Even as politicians call for a "Cancer Moonshot," this accomplishment remains a pinnacle in cancer research.

The author’s daughter, then a medical student at Georgetown Medical School, told her father about this amazing success story. Tim Wendel soon discovered that many of the doctors at the forefront of this effort cared for his brother at Roswell Park in Buffalo, New York. Wendel went in search of this extraordinary group, interviewing Lucius Sinks, James Holland, Donald Pinkel, and others in the field. If there were a Mount Rushmore for cancer research, they would be on it.

Despite being ostracized by their medical peers, these doctors developed modern-day chemotherapy practices and invented the blood centrifuge machine, helping thousands of children live longer lives. Part family memoir and part medical narrative, Cancer Crossings explores how the Wendel family found the courage to move ahead with their lives. They learned to sail on Lake Ontario, cruising across miles of open water together, even as the campaign against cancer changed their lives forever.



Tim Wendel is a Washington DC-based author, and one of his previous 12 books was a New York Times Review of Books "Editor's Choice." His new book focuses on the Cancer Moonshot and how more money is not the answer--it's focused dedicated individuals with creative scientific license that can make a difference in cancer research today.

Cancer Crossings (Cornell University Press, April 2018) is Tim's personal memoir, the story of the Wendel family and how they were affected by Leukemia when Tim's younger brother went through years of treatment after he was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 1966. The book also weaves the history of the medical research and the "Cancer Moonshot" that bumped the cure rate from 10% up to 90% for this type of cancer. Throughout this time, the family played sports together to stay united, such as sailing across Lake Ontario, which is where the book title comes from, as they crossed the shores from NY to Canada.


Upcoming "holidays" tied to this book:

April 7 is World Health Day

April is Cancer Control Month

May is Cancer Research Month

"For as long as I have followed his work, Tim Wendel has always chosen a distinct path of intimate stories within big topics, those subjects revealed by his superb way of getting at the particular. This riveting book is no different. Bravo!"--Ken Burns

"Both informative and compassionate, Wendel's book celebrates his brother's life and serves as a testament to the commitment of doctors who went above and beyond expectations to transform a death sentence into a survivable disease. A sensitive and thoughtful excavation of a painful period in the author's life."-Kirkus Reviews

Tim's work as a journalist researching the doctors who worked with his family decades ago led to how he was able to tie their findings to his personal story in order to share it with the world, and create community for others who have also experienced such loss. His story is a special one, but a universal experience sadly, considering one in three of men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a form of cancer during their lifetime, and nearly 15 million are currently living with cancer. A recent CBS News poll found that more than half of Americans say they or someone else in their immediate family has been diagnosed with cancer at some point.


"I found remarkable in talking with these doctors that a whole lot of money being pumped in doesn't always solve the problem. For example, Nixon signs the war on cancer act in 1971 and it brings in a boatload of money, but it didn't necessarily accelerate the remission and cure rates, which you really need. What you need are limited or a specific number of people who are committed to solving the problem. We make that mistake--throw more money-- when what we need is diligence, expertise, and patience. We're talking about in Leukemia a group of really just 15-20 individuals who made the difference. What I'm trying to say is, "more more more," at least with this disease, doesn't necessarily nail it down. "More" can be money, hospitals, people...but what you really need is the leaders. I focused on 4-5 doctors in my book that in my mind if you put up a Mt. Rushmore of leukemia, they'd be it."- Tim Wendel

ABOUT TIM
Tim Wendel is the author of 13 books, including Summer of '68, Castro's Curveball and High Heat, which was an Editor’s Choice selection by The New York Times Book Review, and his upcoming memoir CANCER CROSSINGS: A Brother, His Doctors and the Quest for a Cure to Childhood Leukemia (Cornell University Press, April 2018). His writing has appeared in Esquire, GQ, Gargoyle, The New York Times, The Washington Post and National Geographic. He's a writer-in-residence at Johns Hopkins University, where he teaches nonfiction and fiction. For more information, www.timwendel.com.

ABOUT THE BOOK
Cancer Crossings zeroes in on the pioneering medical professionals that made finding a Leukemia cure their life's work. But it also has intimate personal vignettes and family themes, with the book itself inspired by Tim's daughter's own medical residency and interest in her long passed away uncle. Throughout their family crucible, the Wendel's placed one another first: They learned to sail on Lake Ontario (crossing back and forth from Buffalo), cruising across miles of open water together, even as the campaign against cancer changed their lives forever.


The relevancy of this beautiful new book cannot be understated; One in three of men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with a form of cancer during their lifetime, and nearly 15 million are currently living with cancer. A recent CBS News poll found that more than half of Americans say they or someone else in their immediate family has been diagnosed with cancer at some point.

In an interview Tim will address:

How sportswriting prepared Tim for researching the resiliency of the cancer doctors profiled in this book-- in all his books he features teams of underdogs!

The Wendel family’s resiliency and insistence on normal activity despite the shadow of cancer--their connection to sports (sailing, hockey) helped uphold their morale and kept the family close knit.

The life lessons of the Wendel family (Time is precious, the natural world can amaze, and not to let arguments fester)

The Cancer Moonshot and how more money is not the answer--it's focused dedicated individuals with creative scientific license that can make a difference.

Could the innovative research done in the last century take place today? Many of the experts from the 60’s and 70’s don’t think so. Our medical system has changed in many ways that might prevent the environment in which crucial research was done that eventually led to the cure.

Why Leukemia research pioneers were called “killers,” “poison pushers” and “cowboys.”
They used increasing combinations of chemotherapy drugs and pioneered ways to separate blood into platelets for better deployment against the disease. 

Many in the medical community thought the doctors’ methods were too hard on the children.

ABOUT THE BOOK

When Eric Wendel was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in 1966, the survival rate was 10 percent. Today, it is 90 percent. Even as politicians call for a "Cancer Moonshot," this accomplishment remains a pinnacle in cancer research.

The author’s daughter, then a medical student at Georgetown Medical School, told her father about this amazing success story. Tim Wendel soon discovered that many of the doctors at the forefront of this effort cared for his brother at Roswell Park in Buffalo, New York. Wendel went in search of this extraordinary group, interviewing Lucius Sinks, James Holland, Donald Pinkel, and others in the field. If there were a Mount Rushmore for cancer research, they would be on it.

Despite being ostracized by their medical peers, these doctors developed modern-day chemotherapy practices and invented the blood centrifuge machine, helping thousands of children live longer lives.

Tim Wendel has written a gorgeous and compelling new narrative ripe with intimate family moments, personal reflections, and the investigative journalism he is known for, this time with his lens turned on the amazing research and innovation that the doctors who treated his brother employed as they got closer and closer to the cure.



No comments:

Post a Comment