Live with Courage; Lead with Hope
A Memoir of Michelle Cadorette
Available from Amazon &
A rare disease: A unique love story: Live with Courage; Lead with Hope is a story about a woman who engendered love in everyone she met. From the time she was born Michelle endeared herself to those with whom she came in contact. As a toddler she would invite her parents’ friends to join her in her bedroom to give them a “tour” of her toys. Rather than emerging as soon as possible, they were caught up in her genuine involvement with them. Her desire to make friends with all who entered her home, without shyness or hesitancy, sometimes caused her parents to worry that she would become too trusting and compromise her safety!
In the year 2000, known as Y2K, it was feared that the move into the 21st century would raise havoc with computer systems around the world. Michelle, then 30 years old, experienced her own Y2K with a diagnosis of a rare cancer – malignant thymoma – diagnosed in only 1 out of every 100,000 people. Major surgery was performed at Massachusetts General Hospital in February to remove tumors from the pericardium and from the pleural lining of her left lung. Recovery was slow and chemotherapy and radiation were debilitating. Finally she was able to return to her high school teaching position and back to coaching track and cross-country.
During the 14 years that followed - with a variety of treatments and 3 additional surgeries - Michelle remained positive, always directing attention away from herself and toward others. She reveled in keeping the conversation light and upbeat. Laughter was heard wherever she went – even in the infusion room!
Live with Courage; Lead with Hope, entitled by her mantra, is a memoir that includes Michelle’s writing; speeches, and sense of humor along with stories from others that will warm your hearts and alternately bring tears to your eyes and a smile to your face. My greatest wish for this memoir is that it will inspire and uplift its readers while honoring the woman who inspired and uplifted all of us for so many years.
Available through Amazon & Barnes & Noble – ISBN:9781478702085
Live with Courage Lead with Hope
Outskirts Press (2016)
Reviewed by Carol Hoyer for Reader Views (12/16)
There have been very few books that I have read where the individual incapacitated by a devastating illness has not wallowed in self-pity or blamed others for their lot in life. “Live with Courage Lead with Hope” by Judy Cadorette is one of those books. It is the story of Michelle Cadorette, a young woman who spent the last fourteen years of her life in the hospital fighting cancer, yet at the same time, she was able to continue to provide love, support, and encouragement to those around her. She was a great model to all, and it makes us feel somewhat guilty when we whine about the smallest things.
Michelle gives everyone, including readers the quest to determine “What is important to us.” Written by her mother Judy, this book encompasses written thoughts from Michelle, her friends, family, and medical staff. Michelle shares memories of what she learned from her students, to things she will never be able to do again.
Michelle was a gifted writer and English teacher. She came from a loving, solid family where everyone was accepted unconditionally, and constantly supported. You can see this reflected in her writings, shared in this book.
Even though this is a story about Michelle’s battle with cancer and the many side effects, it really is about love, caring, and giving to others. Very few individuals will ever be able to match the courage and love of Michelle. She was a jokester with the medical staff; she had her down moments but always kept the big picture in mind. Regardless of what is going on with you, you can make it either positive or negative. Michelle chose the positive.
I imagine that writing this book represented a couple of things for Michelle’s mother, one being therapeutic, and two, a wonderful memoir of her daughter’s true nature. It is written with such love and compassion.
“Live with Courage Lead with Hope” by Judy Cadorette was so easy to read, readers will feel every emotion they have from sadness, to anger, to laughter and yet each reader will come out of this hopefully with a different perspective on their own lives.