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The Third Strike: A Father's Story of His Son's Struggle with Cancer by Robert L. Semel

The Third Strike: A Father's Story of His Son's Struggle with Cancer

by Robert L. Semel

272 pages
Parents cope with cancer striking their baseball-loving son three times.

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Category: Health:Medicine:Cancer
About the Book
The Third Strike is an important work of nonfiction that describes how young parents cope with a deadly case of childhood cancer that strikes their son Louis three times during his twenty-year life. The ability of this family to live a reasonably normal life while overcoming the destructiveness of a malignant marauder lodged in their child's skull remains an important theme of this extraordinary story. The family, with the God-given guidance of several super-doctors, creates a happy and fulfilling life for the boy. Aside from providing invaluable insight for parents and caregivers, this book will be beneficial to all persons entrusted with patient care ­ especially physicians, medical students, nurses, and medical secretaries.

Skillful doctors, compassionate nurses, and caring medical staff play a key role in the eight-year old child's and parent's upbeat outlook as they go forward with their lives. Louis's love of baseball is heightened by a visit to his hospital bed by members of the New York Mets.

Despite undergoing severe surgery and lengthy reconstructive procedures he goes on, excelling in both athletic and academic endeavors. Maturing, he completes high school and enrolls in college. The vibrant and outgoing Louis, now a young man, expands his relationships and gains summer employment while completing two years at the university. And he never loses his sense of humor or taste for adventure.

He establishes powerful friendships and earns the deep admiration of those who come to know him ­ college friends, school officials, and members of the medical community. Even while Louis is a bed-patient receiving treatment arrangements are made by the staff for his attendance at Oriole baseball games. Perhaps one of the greatest baseball fans ever, he exhibits a toughness far exceeding that of many of the athletes that he idolized.

Throughout this spellbinding story the reader witnesses the emotional turmoil of naive parents confronting the awesome medical establishment. Following their first encounter with their child's terrible disease they become more enlightened and questioning. Heart-wrenching confrontations occur with inept medical personnel. But this is offset by the extraordinary care given by highly skilled, compassionate physicians and their medical staffs. The book cites the dedication and warmth provided to Louis by the nurses, especially those angels assigned to pediatrics.

"It creates emotional havoc, understanding and deep appreciation of the people involved."
Irving H. Leopold, M.D., D.Sc.

"He has related the courage and infectious enthusiasm with which Louis lived his life, and the constant love and care of his family that surrounded him at all times."
Haskins K. Kashima, M.D.



About the Author
Robert L. Semel, born in Syracuse, moved to Virginia at the age of eleven. After graduating from Virginia Tech he served as a naval officer during the Korean conflict. Afterwards he relocated to Long Island where he and his wife Jacqueline had two children. He has since retired to Virginia Beach.



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