The author with her son, Ian Drazick in 2004
This photo may be copied for media purposes
I can be easily reached by e-mail, at karenmcwhirt [at] yahoo .com.
I am available for interviews. Thank you for your interest in contacting me!
Title: Together We Will Win
Subtitle: What Happens When We Don't Talk About Testicular Cancer: A Young Man's Story
Author: Karen A. McWhirt
A memoir about her son, Ian Drazick and his battle with testicular cancer.
Publisher: Outskirts Press, self-published
Release Date: August 31, 2010
Availability: Available online everywhere
Trade Paperback, and Amazon Kindle
Synopsis At the age of 20, a young man tells his story of his diagnosis of testicular cancer and shares the pains and struggles he endured while undergoing intense chemotherapy and radiation treatments due to his late-stage diagnosis. A true testimony of the importance of talking about the disease in our society, and what happens if testicular cancer gets overlooked for too long. Ian's story stresses that catching the disease in early stages is essential to avoid intense treatment and increase the chance of survival.
His story comes as a warning to all young men to be proactive in their own testicular health and learn about testicular cancer, the most common-- and curable-- cancer in young men, in order to avoid the fate that Ian suffered.
The final chapter includes a medical image explaining testicular cancer metastasis, facts about the disease, it's symptoms, and how to perform a testicular self-examination.
Karen A. McWhirt has been a testicular cancer awareness advocate from the year her son was diagnosed with the disease. Karen holds book events to raise funds for KU Kids Healing Place at the University of Kansas Hospital , and for testicular cancer awareness efforts. She has donated her book to many local high school seniors, high school libraries, and over 50 academic libraries across the United States, including the Archie Dykes Library at the University of Kansas Medical Center , and the Brandmeyer Patient Resource Center at the Bloch Cancer Care Pavillion, University of Kansas Cancer Center. Karen plans to continue this donation effort to libraries around the world. In addition to donating her royalties from the book, Karen currently offers free speaking presentations and free testicular cancer publications, and has published a music CD--all in the interest of Testicular Cancer Awareness.
Extended Author Bio ~ FAQ
Q: This book is about your son, Ian Drazick. How old was Ian when he was diagnosed?
A: Ian was 19 when he was diagnosed with very late stage IIIB testicular cancer in November 2004. We had never heard of testicular cancer until that day.
Q: Is the book, Together We Will Win, available online and in bookstores?
A: Yes, the book is available with online book merchants world-wide, and available to order from brick-and-mortar bookstores as well. And if your local bookstore has an Espresso Printer, it gets printed right there while you wait, for you to take home that day!
Q: Is the book available on Kindle?
A: Yes, Together We Will Win is available on Amazon Kindle.
Q: Who is your publisher?
A: Outskirts Press is my publisher. They are a Print On Demand (POD) publisher.
Q: What prompted you to write this book, "Together We Will Win?"
A: My son, Ian did. When we learned he might not live, Ian asked me to write a book about him, so other guys would know what testicular cancer is all about, and hopefully avoid everything that Ian went through by being aware and proactive in their own testicular health. I promised Ian I would write it.
Q: How long did it take you to write the book?
A: Almost three years. I started writing in November 2006, and finished the final chapter in October 2009.
Q: How did you research the medical information for "Together We Will Win?"
A: I already had quite a bit of the information written in my journal. We were learning all about it as we were going through it. We wanted to know what the chemotherapy drugs were, and how they worked, and I wrote down most of what we learned at that time. When working on the book, I did further research online to verify those details for the book. I researched a number of reputable medical websites, and easily found that the information I had was consistent in all of them.
Q: What do you find that people like most about "Together We Will Win?"
A: Everyone who has read "Together We Will Win" and commented, has said that it is powerful, emotional, and informative, among other positive remarks. Many have commented they love that the book is written in Ian's voice all the way to the end. And I love when I hear that. My editor had told me writing in Ian's voice was risky, but to me it seemed the only way to tell Ian's story. I'm so happy that readers like it.
Q: Did you find writing this book to be therapeutic work for yourself?
A: I can feel happy that I was able to do this for Ian, and that it is what he wanted it to be, a book about him and his fight with this aggressive disease, testicular cancer. I can feel joy in knowing I have fulfilled my promise to my son. But this book is not about my grief. I wrote this book for Ian, and for his intentions toward the world of young men who can benefit from learning how bad testicular cancer can get.
Q: Will royalties from this book be used charitably?
A: Yes, definitely. Royalties are minimal, but 100% of my royalties are used charitably for continued testicular cancer awareness efforts and other cancer charities. The process was costly, but I do not seek to recover the cost of editing, publishing, and promoting this book and Ian's music CD. All the money I have spent on this is my gift to my son. Fundraisers help us raise more for the University of Kansas Cancer Center and pediatric cancer patient needs, but also Ian's cause for testicular cancer awareness, including more book and CD donations.