Keep Fighting, Stop Strugglingby Miles Alpern Levin (Deceased)
Miles Levin, a gifted but unfocused teenager from suburban Detroit -- whiling away hours on videogames -- is jolted by a diagnosis of a deadly cancer. Working out his feelings in writing on a blog, his charm, humor, spirit, and unceasing honesty drew the attention of readers from around the world. You -- as have tens of thousands of others -- will be amazed, humbled, and helped by what he wrote as he struggled with the hardships destiny imposed on him.
While most of Miles' days were challenging, some were filled with the happiness every teenager hopes to have -- the thrill of first love, the fun of prom night, and the caring and admiration of friends. Cancer was bringing an end to his life, but he brought completion to his life. In so doing he inspires us to be mindful, loving, joyful, and thankful. He left us an enduring gift, thereby fulfilling his greatest desire when he wrote: "Dying is not what scares me; it's dying having had no impact."
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Miles Levin had an indomitable spirit that could not be broken by cancer. In Keep Fighting, Stop Struggling: The Miles Levin Story, that indomitable spirit lives on, bringing hope and perspective to its readers. Miles Levin has a story that most would consider tragic, diagnosed with a rare form of cancer as a teenager, yet his story in anything but tragic. It is not a story of defeat, rather, it is a unique and bittersweet coming of age story, finding a way of looking at life and maturity that many of us never could when faced with the same situation. Keep Fighting, Stop Struggling is comprised of entries from his CarePages blog, entries from family members and readers of his care pages blog, and commentary by his father to tie it all together. In one particularly inspirational entry, Miles writes, “… I’m sorry, cancer, but I refuse to stop enjoying life. I made that decision at the outset.” Miles is far from bitter about the hand he has been dealt, surmising that cancer cells cannot be malicious, as they have no rational thought, and that he is not angry, just “disappointed.” Miles finds joy and gratitude for the simple things in life: having his chemotherapy treatment postponed and thereby having the appetite to eat his favorite pizza, health insurance, kindness, and other things that we all too often take for granted. It is a great reminder for anyone who is dealing with cancer or has a loved one who is dealing with cancer to look for and cherish the good when it is there and for everyone else to value simple joys more. This is a book that will keep its readers thinking and talking about it long after they have turned the last page. Miles Levin’s legacy is unforgettable.
Anyone who has ever had a loved one battle with cancer knows how difficult it can be to stay positive through what seems like unending bad news, chemotherapy, and misery. Miles Levin had a unique and refreshing perspective on cancer and on life, finding a way to be thankful for the little things in life and find the joy, where others might have seen very little to be thankful for or positive about. What is truly striking about Miles’s story is that he started his journey as a frightened teenager and, at the end, was a mature, self-aware individual who had touched the lives of countless people and continues to do so through the words that live on his book. His father, Jonathan Levin, has compiled the entries from his world-famous CarePage blog, adding commentary to create a cohesive, fluid story for readers who may not be familiar with his story. The passages are hopeful, aware, positive, and thankful; in short, they are nothing that readers would anticipate from a young cancer patient and everything that people struggling to make sense of a cancer diagnosis need to hear. At times, Miles wrote with disappointment, but never with anger, resentment, or complaints. Readers will undoubtedly find themselves highlighting passages, scribbling in the margins, and quoting Miles, either quietly to themselves or to others. Anyone who is facing a similar battle will refer back to this book countless times throughout their journey, finding solace and hope in Miles’s words. Keep Fighting, Stop Struggling is the story of a teenager whose bout with cancer brought self-awareness and perceptiveness to his life and positive energy to people all over the world. This is a book that everyone should read; it is one that will irrevocably change its readers and their lives.
Keep Fighting, Stop Struggling: The Miles Levin Story is the posthumous story of Miles Levin's bout with cancer, a battle that touched the lives of people the world over through his CarePage blog. Miles Levin's story is one that is heart-breaking, yet inspirational, sharing wisdom and maturity far beyond his years and a message that is absolutely unforgettable. Although most cancer stories are stories of tragedy, Miles Levin's story is completely different, offering its readers a story of triumph through his remarkable words, thoughts, and insights. The story is told through excerpts from his CarePage blog, which garnered him a great deal of attention during his life, telling the story of personal growth and the triumph over fear, offering an uncommon outlook on his battle with cancer. His father, Jonathan E. Levin, narrates, providing readers with a frame of reference for his son's blog entries. In one entry, Miles states, "Dying is not what scares me; it's dying having had no impact. I know a lot of eyes are watching me suffer; and--win or lose--this is my time for impact." His CarePage and his legacy have had a powerful impact throughout the world; his book simply cements the powerful place that he already held in people's hearts and minds, as well as introducing him to a new audience, who may not have heard his story during his life, when he was appearing on such television shows as Anderson Cooper 360o. Keep Fighting, Stop Struggling is a book that anyone who has a loved one who is battling cancer or has ever had someone in their lives affected by cancer should read. Miles and his message will undoubtedly leave readers with a sense of peace by helping them to realize the "goodness and worthwhileness" of enduring the bad in life because, "the world has so much to offer."
This book was beautifully written and a wonderful tribute to Miles Levin. I am in awe of the insight and wisdom displayed by this teenager dealing with a terminal cancer diagnosis. The book contained excerpts from Miles' blog and comments from his parents, as well as a few moving blog entries from his younger sister. I learned many life lessons from Miles, the most important one being how to accept "not getting what I want." He took a tragic situation and turned it into something positive, impacting countless individuals throughout the world. The book was very moving, and I found myself tearful more than a few times. It certainly helped me put my relatively minor problems into proper perspective. I highly recommend this book, regardless of what life challenges you are facing, and can almost guarantee that you will find it inspiring.
In 2005, Miles Levin, at the age of 16, contracted a rare form of cancer. For the next two years, he confronted his condition with exceptional courage and grace, resolving to show how one lives with¿and if necessary, dies with¿cancer. Miles chronicled his journey online with compelling prose and with an objectivity that allowed the reader to see his remarkable and evolving character standing separate from his disease. His readership grew to over twelve thousand worldwide and his story was told¿and told again¿on Anderson Cooper 360. In 2008, Miles was awarded the Sarcoma Foundation of America¿s Leadership in Courage Award, previous recipients including Edward Kennedy, Jr., actor Robert Ulrich and writer Carole Radziwill. Keep Fighting, Stop Struggling: The Miles Levin Story recounts Miles¿ journey that is, as well, his family¿s journey. Beautifully written, heartbreaking but also inspiring, it is¿in the most profound sense¿a love story, love of and within a family and love of the ideal. Given what Miles¿ was called on to face, it¿s hard to imagine how he could have more closely approximated the ideal. As a consequence, the reach of his story is the timeless reach of the human spirit, itself. Fittingly, there now stands a stone monument¿commissioned by an American physician¿in Miles¿ honor in a sacred region of the Himalayas where Buddhist and Hindu pilgrims alike pause to acknowledge and pay tribute to his courageous spirit. ¿Keep fighting, stop struggling¿ was Miles¿ mantra, the guidance he gave himself as he continued to choose life in the face of his worsening condition. The book is a father¿s tribute to his son. It is an expression of gratitude for what the son taught not only his family but, as well, a growing community of relatives, friends, loved ones and readers. It is possible for the best that is in us to be realized and exhibited even in the face of the most unwanted fate. Spirit-in-action, that is what Mile¿s modeled and that is what this book acknowledges, makes clear, indeed, celebrates. If we exist in the effects we have on others, then Miles found a way¿the way¿to ensure that he continues to exist so as to engender only gratitude and praise, existing in the thoughts and higher standards of those he touched. Keep Fighting, Stop Struggling: The Miles Levin Story is a loving, heartfelt tribute, written with care and utmost respect for the story it tells. Hopefully, it will be read by a growing audience. It deserves to be. The book, like the story it tells, is inspiring.