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"Now We're One of Those Cancer Families"


The first man in a woman’s life is her father. Dr. Meg Meeker explains in her bestselling book, Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know, “Fathers are their daughters’ first experience of male love, compassion, kindness, anger, and cruelty. These early experiences are imprinted on a girl’s brain and heart. For the rest of her life, every experience she has with a male is filtered through her experiences with her father.”

Sophie Caldecott’s essay in our teaser issue “Love is Stronger than Death” is a story of father and daughter, but it is so much more; a tale that is simultaneously both gracefully rich and heartbreakingly raw. When I read it for the first time, each word leapt off the page and straight into my heart, with a few tears springing into my eyes.

It has had a powerful effect on others, also. Journalist and author Elizabeth Kantor wrote in the Huffington Post on Tuesday that Sophie’s article was her favorite, while others have called it “pure grace” and “heartbreakingly beautiful.”

Sophie shares, “writing about my father after his diagnosis with prostate cancer was hard, because it was all still so raw. I cried the whole way through the first draft, but as soon as I had finished it, I felt better.” Sophie is a strong woman with an equally strong father. Her story touches on elements of life and death, love, heroism, past and present, all wrapped up into one poignant package that leaves a note of hope lingering in the air after the readers’ eyes finish scanning the last word.

Check it out for yourself and while you’re at it, why not subscribe to the magazine?

*What has happened since the article published? Sophie shares that “since writing it, the doctor has given us the brilliant news that my father is responding well to the treatment. It’s still scary that the future is so unsure, but we are hungry for good news and were greatly cheered by it.”