For readers whose lives have been touched by cancer and for anyone whose faith has wavered in the face of adversity, That's Why I'm Here is the inspiring memoir of Ohio State football legend and ESPN college football analyst Chris Spielman and his late wife Stefanie: a story of family, faith, and perseverance.
Chris Spielman was a high school and Ohio State football legend and a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker, but he didn't tackle his toughest opponent until his playing career was almost over. In 1998 his wife Stefanie was diagnosed with breast cancer, and so began an 11-year journey that brought joy and suffering to the Spielmans, as well as hope and inspiration to thousands of others. In That's Why I'm Here, Spielman traces his storied career, recalls his courtship of Stefanie Belcher, cherishes the growth of their four children and invokes the deep spiritual faith that gave their family wisdom and comfort in times of struggle. Though there are plenty of on-the-field tales in the book, it's not just for football fans. It's for people whose lives have been touched by cancer, for people whose own faith has wavered, for people who want to meet a woman of tremendous beauty, grace and strength. Though Stefanie passed away on Nov. 19, 2009, her memory and inspiration live on. With laughter and tears, joy and heartbreak, this book lets you know her spirit is still here.
To read a sample of That's Why I'm Here, in PDF format, click here.
About The Author:
Chris Spielman, who was the first high school athlete to appear on a Wheaties box, became a two-time All-American for the Ohio State Buckeyes and remains one of the most popular players in school history. He went on to play eight seasons for the Detroit Lions in the NFL, earning a Pro-Bowl selection four times. When his wife Stefanie was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, Chris took a year off to be with her, and the two later created the Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research. He currently hosts a daily sports radio show in Columbus, Ohio, and is well known as a college football analyst for ESPN.
This year, July specifically, I will be celebrating seven years cancer free! When I received the diagnosis of stage one cancer in 2005 my life changed forever. At only 32 years of age and trying to start a family with my husband of eight years (after a few years of infertility) I had no idea what the future would hold. But God did. I had no idea that I would only need surgery to cure the cancer. But God did. I had no idea where all my strength to deal with recovery would come from. But God did.
I had so many emotions and questions, and God carried me (and my husband) through each stage of biopsy, diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. It was through His healing hand that eight months after my diagnosis that I conceived our first child, delivered healthy but very early in October 2006, and she was joined by a little sister in July 2008.
Over the years, I have been encouraged and challenged as I read the stories of families going through the journey of cancer. Though not all the stories end up with all the diagnosis ending in survival, there are amazing lessons with each one. That's Why I'm Here by Chris Spielman is a memoir that I have absolutely loved to read.
Spielman is a very well known sports personality, and the book covers much of his career, however it is so much more than a sports memoir. It is the journey of a family through cancer, losing a loved one to the disease and how God moved through the journey to bless so many through the Spielman's story. You will laugh, cry and be encouraged as you read each page of this remarkable book.
You will be reminded that just because you may have a relationship with Christ, it does not mean we will not experience illness, death and disease. We will, but we have an amazing God that carries us through the journey, whether that means death or survival.
If you have journeyed through cancer, or have a family member or other loved one who has, I highly recommend that you read That's Why I'm Here.
I give this book a huge thumbs up.
BUY IT: You can purchase That's Why I'm Here at your favorite bookseller from Zondervan, coming May 2012
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***I received a complimentary electronic copy of this book, courtesy of NetGalley and Zondervan Blogger Club, for the purpose of review on this blog. All opinions expressed are my own, and I have not been compensated in any other manner***