Just published: Repairing the World

I’m delighted to say that Repairing the World: Sheila Kussner and the Power of Empathy, has just been published. This was a work commissioned by a Montreal-based committee, but they gave me free rein to portray the life, character, and achievements of a truly remarkable person I knew nothing about. Famous in Montreal, Sheila Kussner is a force of nature, “a hurricane,” as one friend described her to me. This was a fascinating project that took me into the history of cancer treatment and care, Montreal’s Jewish community, and the confidence of one of the most unforgettable people you could have the privilege to know.

As the publisher describes:

“Ask most anyone who knows Sheila Kussner to describe her, and they say the same thing: She’s unstoppable. Renowned in her native Montreal as a fundraiser extraordinaire, the champion of cancer treatment and care was still going strong as her ninetieth birthday approached to secure the financial future of her best-known achievement, Hope & Cope, a pioneering, peer-based support service for cancer patients. Sheila also raised tens of millions of dollars to create the oncology department of McGill University. But as this biography explores, fundraising only scratches the surface of the character and deeds of this remarkable figure. A survivor of bone cancer that claimed a leg at age 14, Sheila Kussner has been a visionary in transforming the way cancer is researched and treated, and an indefatigable friend to anyone in need of support. Repairing the World delves deeply into Sheila’s story, to help us understand how someone so publicly and privately influential emerged, and how empathy has been her defining motivation. The reader learns of the personal challenges and crises that she confronted and overcame, and why her determination to improve support for cancer patients, by harnessing the experience and empathy of cancer patients themselves, was so revolutionary on a global scale.”

Repairing the World is published by Barlow Books and is available at bookstores as well as the usual online retailers.

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