I typically help the non-writers of this world - the scientists, the researchers, the engineers, and the doctors - weave their story into words that resonate with real people. Stories are filled with dates, facts, accolades and - more than anything else - emotion. That last bit can be hard to conjure, especially if your story is about the work you love. Before I help people sort through the timelines of their accomplishments, titles, awards, or discoveries, I have to help them sort through the often wildly diverse emotions they feel about their work.
My latest published feature is a story about rare blood disorders and how doctors, patients, foundations, and scientists are working to combat them. Storting through the emotions of medical science, and the patients impacted, was challenging.
The assignment came at an interesting time: I was dealing with my own frustrating and sometimes depressing health issues. I became friends with someone undergoing experimental cancer treatments. I watched another good friend go from being full of life to lifeless because of an aggressive disease. Health was weighing heavily on my mind, and this story made me feel better. I hope it give you a little hope as well.
Yet, more than anything, I hope you read it and feel invested in the outcome. Like most people, I didn’t become a champion of a problem until it became my problem. Like people who rage against the “R” word because they have a Down syndrome child, or walk for charity because a relative has breast cancer, or vehemently reject tanning beds because a significant other has Melanoma, I didn’t care about a particular problem until I had it. I didn't think about it until it was all I could think about. Your health, and the health of the people you love, is nothing until it becomes everything.
Don't wait for that scary moment, or phone call, or test result to care.
In banking-on-miracles, read about people taking crazy chances and beating the odds against leukemia.