LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2013) — An initial diagnosis of sinusitis out to be something much more serious for Lexington native Keen Babbage. In October 2010, he was diagnosed with small cell peri-nasal cancer, an aggressive cancer that was beginning to invade his brain.
For a man who has led a lifetime of healthy habits — eating right, exercising, and never smoking or drinking — it was a shocking diagnosis.
Today, exactly three years after receiving that diagnosis at the UK Markey Cancer Center, Keen is in remission, and back on the UK HealthCare campus to introduce "Life Lessons from Cancer" (RRP International Publishing), a best-selling book about the experience that he coauthored with Laura Babbage, his caretaker and sister-in-law.
Laura, a chaplain for both UK HealthCare and St. Joseph Hospital, is a not a traditional caretaker. She followed a midlife call to the ministry after a successful career as a health care executive and a registered nurse. Together, the Babbages were a team trained and determined to take on a deadly form of cancer.
Keen, who has previously written 16 books on education, says this book is a much more personal piece of work for him, and he hopes sharing his experiences will help others who may be facing similarly dire circumstances.
"I know how close I was to death, and to have endured that ordeal, to be three years out from that diagnosis, is a blessing," Keen said. "I hope the book is a source of inspiration and guidance for other patients and a source of insight for health care providers."
"Life Lessons from Cancer" is dedicated to the doctors and staff at the nationally acclaimed Markey Cancer Center, where Keen received his treatment. Writing the book and having the opportunity to personally introduce it at UK HealthCare was a way to show his gratitude, Keen says.
"It's a way to very sincerely and personally thank the people who saved my life," Keen said.
The kickoff event for the book will take place from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14, in the UK Chandler Hospital Pavilion A auditorium. Parking is available in the UK HealthCare parking garage directly across South Limestone and there is a pedway that will take people directly into Pavilion A. The auditorium is on the ground floor.
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