WesternU osteopathic medical student Lindsey Stannard shares the amazing story about being diagnosed with three cancers in her recently released book, Bow Ties, Butterflies and Band-Aids: A Journey Through Childhood Cancers and Back to Life.

Known on WesternU’s Pomona, Calif., campus as Lindsey Stannard, her married name, she wrote her book using her childhood name Lindsey VanDyke. She is a second-year Western University of Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific student.

The book offers a firsthand look at her cancers — Stage IV Wilms tumor between the ages of 11 and 13, and a new cancer that occurred at 21 as a result of treatments she had been given earlier in life-the treatment processes themselves, and how she was able to get back to a normal life. It provides insight into the challenges and pains that she, her family and friends went through.

Stannard, an Oregon native, wrote most of this book in summer 2004, then put it away for many years. As she began her journey as a medical student in 2009, she revisited the book and was able to finish it in early 2010 – well on her way to becoming a compassionate healer.

During this time, she added vignettes from the many people who are part of her life, which helped her establish memories and events, especially during her first few traumatic days in the hospital.

She says she wants families, best friends, parents and caregivers to read it and understand that the same event precipitated multiple reactions in different people.

“”The disease, having a stigma that it has, everyone’s afraid of it,”” said Stannard, “”When someone gets the cancer diagnosis, everyone kind of panics a little. If this story is able to spark a few conversations that will save some people some aggravation, some grief, some pain down the road, that’s a good story. That’s what I wish we had when we were diagnosed.””

Her ultimate goal is to create a foundation to help provide financial assistance to families who are struggling to balance the treatment process, keep their jobs and maintain a family balance.

“”The family unit, the social unit, the community unit is unbelievably precious to the patient,”” she said about the purpose of the foundation.

Her Memoir, Bow Ties, Butterflies & Band-Aids: A Journey Through Childhood Cancers and Back to Life, is available here through Amazon.com.

Review copies and interviews are available through Lindsey Stannard by contacting her by e-mail at LVsurvivor@gmail.com, or by phone at (206) 498-4203.