Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
Psalm 103: 1, Christian Bible, New International Version
Mary Connolly shares from her heart her journey through a devastating cancer diagnosis to celebrating sarcoma with a thankful heart.
At age 21, while still a college student, synovial sarcoma was found in her leg. Meanwhile, her sister was undergoing gamma knife surgery for a brain tumor.
Mary had surgery that left her unable to lift her right foot upward. She had to get her car modified with a left foot pedal. Away went all her beautiful, beloved shoes. That was just one of numerous challenges she faced, including in her relationships with family, friends, and potential boyfriends.
Mary turned these challenges into opportunities. Now when people ask about her foot brace, she uses that as an opening to raise awareness about sarcoma.
Mary’s faith played a huge role in her healing journey. Her book, Celebrate Sarcoma, is filled with her prayers and Bible verses reflecting her struggles with her understanding of God.
Eventually she came through to the other side of depression. Mary wrote, “I decided that I wanted to do something meaningful with my life. Something that would not just benefit my family and close friends, but an even wider circle of people. I decided that I could be nothing but thankful for how the cancer brought about positive change in my life…. God has blessed me with a maturity and insight that many don’t have even after experiencing successful careers. For this I am grateful.”
Reflecting back on her experience, she writes, “As much as I have despised cancer for the havoc it has wreaked on me, I have reached a place where I can’t imagine my life without this experience and the journey on which it has set me. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned, the relationships I have built, the experiences I have had—some that have brought tears of sadness or joy, others that have brought laughter or mourning.”
Through it all, Mary has reached a place where she can celebrate sarcoma. She looks forward to working with young adult cancer survivors.
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The sale of Mary’s book will benefit orthopedic cancer research at The James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute in Columbus, Ohio. The book is available athttp://www.amazon.com/Celebrate-Sarcoma-Mary-Connolly-ebook/dp/B00Q9X5EHG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1449889641&sr=8-1&keywords=celebrate+sarcoma .
Thriver Soup Article: Mary Celebrates Sarcoma, by Heidi Bright