Reviewed by: Charles Wood, MD
The Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania
Last Modified: August 14, 2005
Force A Miracle chronicles the life of Darryl Didier, a young man in his early twenties who is suddenly diagnosed with medulloblastoma, a rare deadly tumor of the brain. The book begins after Didier has graduated from college and is working for Merrill Lynch. His early successes both professionally and personally come to a halt when a severe headache leads to the discovery of a brain tumor. He endures debilitating surgery and adjuvant radiation treatments followed by seemingly endless rehabilitation.
The book is written, most appropriately, with what can be best described as a persistent tone, if a bit obsessed at times. This is no fairy tale with a feel good movie ending – the hospital stays and rehab care are challenging and frustrating, and progress for Didier is ever so slow. The story is not one of deep introspection, but rather a more day-to-day portrayal of Didier's life peppered with anecdotes and exchanges between he and those close to him. Didier grabs the reader by the neck and refuses to let go, attempting to demonstrate time and again the value in the boiling optimism that drives him. Along the way, much of the tale is read between the lines, as the author transcends a series of disappointments to "KEEP GOING" as he so often reminds himself.
This book is of value not only to patients and loved ones touched by cancer but to anyone facing a life obstacle. It is poignant and touching and Didier is ultimately and unapologetically persistent in his quest for self-improvement. Highly recommended by the Oncolink staff.