For Denise DeSimone, cancer was a chance to live a better, more fulfilling life.
An active and healthy 49-year-old, DeSimone suddenly faced the threat of having only three months to live when she was diagnosed with stage IV throat and neck cancer. While most would start naming beneficiaries, DeSimone named her cancer and gave it permission to teach her the lessons she needed to learn.
“The presence of cancer was the best present I ever received,” said DeSimone. “Befriending my cancer as opposed to battling it was critical to my overall health. The world is constantly waging war on so many fronts, from drugs and poverty to AIDS and terrorism – I knew that waging a war with something that was already raging within me would be ludicrous.”
She recounts her journey of courage, strength and deep spirituality in her new memoir, From Stage IV to Center Stage, to empower readers to find the opportunities in their struggles and turn pain into purpose.
During rigorous treatments of both traditional and alternative medicine – in addition to regular doses of self-love – DeSimone vowed that should she live, she would use her life to inspire others. And she’s done just that: Although the semi-professional singer was told she may never sing again, just 22 months after diagnosis, she sang the National Anthem before a sell-out crowd of 35,000 Boston Red Sox fans at Fenway Park. One month later, she pedaled 87 miles in one day to raise money for children's cancer research.
Denise DeSimone is an ordained interfaith minister, an inspirational and motivational speaker and a singer. She is certified in multiple alternative healing modalities and is a wellness coach to cancer patients. DeSimone also created Pray Peace, a multimedia offering of personal and global peace. Currently, she resides between Greensboro, N.C., and Newburyport, Mass. This is her first book.
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