I live in Lee's Summit, Missouri, with my husband, Mark. I started writing this book, "Together We Will Win," in November, 2006, one year after Ian's diagnosis. My work went along very slowly at first, because I wasn't sure exactly how I would present Ian's story. I wanted it to be in Ian's words, the way he might tell the story himself. As I began to write in his voice, I was aware his story was much more interesting this way, than if I were doing the talking. I knew the title would reveal itself in time, and I talked to Ian every day in my prayers, asking him to help me with the title, and with the book itself. One day as I was looking at the photos I had in mind for the cover, the title and subtitle came to me, as if Ian had spoken it himself..."Together We Will Win...A Young Man's Story...About What Happens When We Don't Talk About Testicular Cancer"... and it fit perfectly with the photo I was looking at, I thought. I later created a mock book cover using that photo and the words I'd been given, and hung it in my office for inspiration, and each day that picture helped me focus on fulfilling my promise to Ian and keep writing until it was finished. I hope his story will live on to teach others about the seriousness of testicular cancer, just as Ian wanted. I believe his story will warm and inspire the heart of everyone who reads it.
As for me, I will spend the rest of my life trying to spread awareness of testicular cancer in any way I can, in honor and memory of my beloved son.
Please feel free to e-mail me with any questions or comments about the book, or about testicular cancer. I have received many e-mails from other young men who have suffered the disease, and I am honored and humbled by their kind gesture of sharing their personal stories with me. Please teach others what you learn about this curable disease.
Together, we will win.
Karen A. McWhirt
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