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What we’re reading!

Insightful Cancer Survivor Shares Journey through Obstacles to Eventual Recovery

When she discovered a lump on her neck in 2003, little did Dana Point resident Michelle Pardes know what was in store for her.  Months later, she learned that she had Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Stage IV, and she entered the frightening world of cancer.  The daughter of Holocaust survivors, Pardes demonstrated her resiliency as she was forced to undergo various forms of treatment and put many aspects of her life on hold.
In Still Breathing, Pardes, who lives in Dana Point with her husband, Fred, her Shih Tzu dog, Jake, and her ragdoll cat, Mittens, shares her wisdom as a survivorship coach, speaking to individuals and groups, helping others to cope with life threatening disease.  As a lifer/survivor of an autologous bone marrow transplant recipient and educator/counselor, she said, “My book helps those diagnosed with cancer to ‘navigate their journey’ on a multitude of medical and personal levels.”
The goal of the highly gripping book is “to stand beside everyone who is diagnosed with cancer . . . and help them survive and thrive, to see that everyone, everywhere, who is diagnosed with cancer is given a dose of hope and understanding through the positive messages contained in this book.”  Still Breathing is a message of hope for cancer victims – and hope is the one thing that they all need to make it though the days that lie ahead.  It is a story of determination, and a successful battle against cancer.  Pardes openly acknowledges that her triumph was a combination of her own determination and the support and understanding of people who had been there, done that and survived the ordeal.
To learn more, contact Michelle, or to “pay forward” by sharing your own survivor story, contact michellepardes@gmail.com.

Still Breathing
Still Breathing Publications
14 Monarch Bay Plaza #135
Monarch Beach, California 92629
Written by: Michelle Pardes
Book Design and Editing by: Leslie Sears
Photography by: Patrice Miller
206 pages

Hospital Critterz® Adventure Series Helps Young Readers to Cope with Fears

Hospitals can be scary and overwhelming for kids.  Hospital Critterz, a new series of hospital-based adventure books, helps children to see the medical world differently.  Imaginative and entertaining rather than instructional, the books in the series introduce kids to the hospital setting, and each provides an adventure that can be enjoyed by both ill and healthy children. The first book was lauded on the daytime talk show, “The Doctors,” syndicated by CBS.
The Hospital Critterz adventure series, published by Strategic Media Group, a Strategic Partners, Inc., company, was created to help kids ages 6 to 10 feel more comfortable in a healthcare setting.
“I believe Hospital Critterz can transform a child’s view of the hospital environment,” said Strategic Partners, Inc., CEO, Michael Singer.  “McPopper Children’s Hospital, in the story, is a warm, friendly, magical place that encourages children’s imaginations to soar and family discussions to arise.”
Singer was inspired to create the series by the experiences of his six-year-old cousin who passed away from leukemia.  His company is donating a portion of the proceeds from Hospital Critterz to support both a scholarship program for nursing students and the “Cherokee Inspired Comfort Award,” a national award that celebrates and promotes the exceptional service, sacrifice and innovation of nurses and other healthcare professionals.
In the first book, Hospital Critterz: The Prairie Pet, by Stacey Laura Lloyd, Lily tries to befriend Max, who is newly arrived in the hospital. The unhappy boy tells her to go away, but when Lily’s drawings magically come to life as colorful “Hospital Critterz,” Lily and Max become friends.  Soon they find themselves whisked back in time to nineteenth-century Nebraska, where they and the Hospital Critterz characters must solve a riddle to save a boy’s unusual pet from being sold to perform in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show.

Hospital Critterz: The Prairie Pet
Written by Stacey Laura Lloyd
Illustrated by Steve Loizos
Published by Strategic Media Group
www.hospitalcritterz.com
Ages 6-10
96 pages

Why My Father Ran is the Capitvating Tale of a Holocaust Survivor
What compelled a 60+-year-old man, who had been diagnosed previously with blockages of his heart but refused surgery, to begin running marathons?  One could say Simcha Shatz’s running began back in Bilgoraj, Poland, where his world crumbled before his very eyes when the Nazis invaded his hometown and wreaked havoc on its inhabitants, especially the Jews.
“I call this invisible power,” Shatz was known to say. Interviewed by numerous magazine and newspaper reporters, he would reply “because I could,” and the people he lost in his hometown of Bilgoraj could not.
In Shatz’s own words, from his memoirs, he said, “As I run, I see the images of my mother and my family running beside me, so I run harder.  Eventually, I finish the short marathon with the runners.  The feeling of pride and accomplishment are so strong, I decide to run a little each day.  Each time I run, I picture a different friend or family member that I left behind in Poland running alongside me. I run because they could not. I will continue to search for my family and keep running until I find them.”
Shatz never stopped running and never stopped looking.  His bravery – as a youth in Poland, an escapee in Siberia, a young man in Israel and a mature American running marathons – makes this book a page-turner.
The author, Henia Stein, a 2G (Second Generation) Holocaust survivor, is a freelance writer living in Israel.  Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, she holds a BA in sociology. With her husband’s support, she has written inspirational articles for Chabad Women. Why My Father Ran began as an article published for Aish.com in the hopes that one day it would turn into a book.  It is available on amazon.com.
“My hope for this book is that other 2nd generations will take the time to get the stories from the holocaust survivors they know … before it is too late, for many of them are disappearing rapidly,” Stein said.

Why My Father Ran
Authored by Henia S Stein
Edited by Sandra Daum Berger
160 pages

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