Notes Left Behind

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9780061886393: Notes Left Behind

“Elena has left behind a story of resilience, hope and most of all, love. We can’t help but take her into our hearts, and carry the best of her into our own lives.”

—Jeffrey Zaslow, coauthor of The Last Lecture

 

Notes Left Behind by Brooke and Keith Desserich began as a journal they kept after their five-year-old daughter Elena was diagnosed with brain cancer and given just 165 days to live. As poignant and inspiring as Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture, it is the story of the courage of a truly remarkable little girl who accomplished so much in so little time—and of her parents’ love and dedication to their child and their family. New York Times bestselling author James Patterson was profoundly moved by Elena’s beautiful life and Notes Left Behind, calling it, “a stunning story that teaches us how precious children, family, and life are, and that the sacrifices we make are worth it. I won’t forget the Desserich family, and neither will you.”

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From the Back Cover:

Elena Desserich dreamed of becoming a teacher. Although her time on this earth was far too short to fulfill her dream, she left behind an enlightening lesson plan on life. Wise beyond her years, Elena never stopped teaching those around her to appreciate the miracle of everyday living even as the innocent six-year-old battled a rare form of brain cancer.

Through personal and candid journal entries written as a remembrance for Elena's younger sister, Brooke and Keith Desserich share their emotional journey as they negotiated their contradictory impulses to fight Elena's cancer at all costs and realized the inevitable outcome. Page by page, this journal is a reminder to parents everywhere to appreciate and savor every precious moment they have with their own children.

Notes Left Behind tells a story of humility and inspiration. From the time of her diagnosis, Elena accomplished a truly spectacular series of wishes, big and small, that she alone created, from riding in a horse-drawn carriage to painting a masterpiece that would hang in an art museum. Her life motivated the creation of the foundation, The Cure Starts Now, which today helps children everywhere in their fight against cancer. The authors’ proceeds from the sale of this book benefits this foundation.

Included in the pages of this book are Elena's private messages that she secretly hid around her home, knowing her family would find them when she was gone. These notes show us how even during the darker moments of life, it is possible to find hope and encouragement through selfless love.

From the Back Cover:

This is the true story of a six-year-old girl named Elena and her battle against brain cancer. In her last days she showed a community how to love and how to live. Written through the eyes of her parents, Brooke and Keith Desserich, as a remembrance to Elena's younger sister, Elena's story is one of humility and inspiration as she lives each day, one day at a time. In her short time she painted a masterpiece that would hang in an art museum, she accomplished a truly spectacular series of wishes that she alone created, and she inspired a cause that today helps children everywhere in their fight against brain cancer.

In Notes Left Behind Elena's parents struggle to negotiate their contradictory impulses to both fight Elena's cancer at all costs and to realize the inevitable outcome that awaits their daughter. The journal is candid and sincere in its treatment of deeply personal and tragic events and is a reminder to parents everywhere to appreciate and savor every precious moment they have with their own children.

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