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A Child Shall Lead Them: Lessons About Hope…

A Child Shall Lead Them: Lessons About Hope from Children With Cancer

by Diane M. Komp

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Diane Komp is on the faculty of Yale Medical School, and a practicing pediatric oncologist. As such, her practice is not only devoted to the care of children with cancer, but she treats many of the sickest of the sick: those whose poor prognosis causes them to seek out the most expert of care. And her career began at a time when the word "cure" was hardly even in the vocabulary for childhood cancer patients. I can't imagine a more difficult job. Yet Komp indicates that she feels thoroughly blessed by the challenge to which she has been called.

In this book, Komp shares her spiritual journey, as her experience of the suffering of children led her first away from, and then back to, faith in God. She shows us the strength of the young patients she treats, and how they can be an example to all of us as we face the issues of life and mortality.

Komp is a born story-teller, and a woman of deep faith and convictions. In an era when medical care is often described in contract law terms, she prefers the biblical language of "covenant." In a climate when business and technology seem to dominate medical issues, she stresses the relationship between caregivers and patients and their families. In a society which often sees science and faith at odds with one another, she sees the two working concurrently for the good of the patient:

"As a physician, I will work as hard as I can in a profession with an honorable history. As a Christian I will also pray as hard as I can in a religious tradition that I also hold as honorable. Children need to be healed. So do the rest of us."

Throughout her narrative, she weaves the story of "Crumb-bunny," a dearly loved infant patient who made history by receiving a bone-marrow transplant as treatment for an exceedingly rare condition previously considered 100% fatal.

Komp's stories make plain to all the challenges and rewards of working with very sick children. She also invites us all to an attitude adjustment as we ponder the Biblical notion that, as we become as little children, we come closer to the kingdom of God. ( )
2 vote tymfos | Dec 31, 2009 |
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But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Romans 8:24b-25 (NRSV).
For Katherine, Ryan, Sue, and Barry
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Several years ago, a former professor posed a challenge to me. "What do you collect?" he asked.
He, a world traveler, filled his home with priceless relics of many visits to the Far East. I don't collect objects of art, as he does. I collect stories. Stories about children are my treasure.

As a physician, I will work as hard as I can in a profession with an honorable history. As a Christian I will also pray as hard as I can in a religious tradition that I also hold to be honorable. Children need to be healed. So do the rest of us.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0310379806, Hardcover)

Why has the death rate from adult cancer only dropped by 5% during the time that children have improved by 57%? If I were an adult with cancer, I'd want to know the children's secrets. Physician-author Diane Komp uses tender stories of her work with children to show how medicine, science and spirituality are compatible. The Yale medical professor shatters myths and teaches us how to beat the odds. Woven throughout this tender memoir is the story of an extraordinary baby her doctor named "Crumb Bunny," who beat the odds. So can you!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:28 -0400)

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