The Longest Mile: A Doctor, a Food Fight, and the Footrace that Rallied a Community Against Cancer by Christine Meyer, MD. Berkeley: She Writes Press, 2016. 220 pages. Publication date April 2016. *****+ Pre-order now at Amazon.
The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2016, 1,685,210 new cancer cases and 595,690 cancer deaths are projected to occur in the United States. Everyone has been touched in some way by this disease and when it strikes a beloved member of your family, most people are paralyzed by fear and despair. Being a doctor doesn't change that same feeling of helplessness and heartbreak. After several of her patients and her beloved Aunt and mentor Tant are diagnosed; Dr. Meyer is propelled forward by a need for hope and to do something. An impromptu run provides the avenue to make a difference by raising funds to fight this horrific disease and to provide needed support to cancer-stricken families. Rallying family, friends, colleagues and anyone who will listen, Dr. Meyer raises the money necessary for a team to run in the 2013 Broad Street Run in Philadelphia. Following the bombings at the Boston Marathon, this is truly an act of courage to run the race. That first race has led to a team of over 1400 members and the formation of the Team CMMD Foundation.
Written exactly the way this high energy physician speaks, this book about a very serious disease is gripping. Filled with determination, love, hope and tears; my words do not do her story and the story of her team justice. Dr. Meyer shares the glory with those people who support and love her and is careful to remind the reader that it is a team effort that has made her cause successful. Entertaining anecdotes about the team's fund-raising strategies humanize the seriousness of this killer disease. Empowering is the best word to describe this book and inspiring all who read it to believe in the words of Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." I highly recommend this book to all readers, it is a story that will have you crying, cheering and opening your checkbook; but be warned, it will make you want to do more with your life. Dr. Meyer is clever that way!
I received an Advanced Reader Copy for a review. I requested to review this book because Dr. Meyer is my primary care physician.
Christine Meyer, MD, is a board-certified internal medicine born to first-generation Egyptian immigrants. She grew up learning about medicine and food from her aunt Venis Fanous, MD. Her medical education took her from rural South New Jersey to the halls of an esteemed medical college in Philadelphia. It was there that she met her husband of twenty years. Together, the Meyers are raising their three children in Downingtown, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Meyer is the founder and managing partner of Christine Meyer, MD and Associates. In addition to practicing full-time, she enjoys writing a Blog entitled Despite My Medical Degree, which provides a humorous look at the challenges of work-life balance in a two-physician household.
In 2012, Dr. Meyer founded Team CMMD Foundation. The Foundation's mission is twofold: to support local cancer-stricken families struggling with the financial burdens of their illness and to raise money to fund cancer research. Follow the Foundation on their Facebook page.
In November 2015, Dr. Meyer was named Philadelphia Magazine's 2015 Be Well Philly Health Hero. The $7500 cash prize will be earmarked for pediatric cancer research and support.