Why I don’t like to tell the story of my childhood leukemia diagnosis, and why I realized I need to.

So, I’ve been kicking and screaming trying to avoid telling you this story.  Like, wild horses couldn’t even drag it out of me for years.  But, I’ve had a realization recently.  I realize I’m not showing up like I should, and telling this story is what I need to break through.

It’s important, because it’s this story that makes me stand out from the crowd of sterile marketers focused on the medical industry.  It’s this story that gives me the passion with which I approach marketing for doctors and dentists.  It’s this story that gives me an unusual level of insight into the marketing needs of the medical industry.  It’s this story that has helped me to see the way that medical professionals unconsciously sabotage themselves through marketing and end up serving many fewer patients than they should.  And it’s this story that gives me the WHY that gets me out of bed each morning to keep helping doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals like you attract more of their ideal patients and serve them better.


The fact is that without the commitment and passion of the medical industry I might not be here today.  Doctors saved me, and in return I’ve made it my mission to save medical practices, so that they can save more lives like mine.  It’s personal for me.  Medical professionals saved my life.  They save many lives, and it’s my job to help them continue to attract patients so that they can focus on saving and improving the quality of those lives.

There are a few reasons I don’t like to tell this story.  One is that I don’t like to be vulnerable, and to avoid that, I’ll tell everyone’s story but mine.  Another is that I don’t like to be self-indulgent, and to avoid that, I’ll focus on everyone’s needs but my own.

But the biggest reason I don’t like to tell this story is that I’ve worked very hard not to let it define me.  As long as I can remember, people who hear this story assume that I need limits and that I shouldn’t strive for what I want.  After hearing this story they’re afraid that I’ll push myself too hard, fail to set proper boundaries to preserve my precious energy.  

“Don’t work so many hours – you have to be able to sleep or you’ll get sick again.”

“Don’t over exercise or you’ll wear yourself out and get hurt.”

“Don’t go to school while working a full-time job – you’ll overexert yourself.”

While I know this is well-intentioned, and that it always comes from a place of concern for my well-being, it’s always felt to me like a preemptive excuse for failure, like people suspect my past will inhibit me from reaching what I want and so they instinctively try to protect me from further pain.  I could have allowed this to define me and keep me in a state of perpetual victimhood, but I knew that wasn’t how I wanted to live.  And so I didn’t.  I made the decision a long time ago that I wasn’t going to let this story stop me from living the life I have wanted to.  And it showed me that I could make my own rules, which I’ve done in both life and marketing.  I’ve never liked ANYONE telling me what I can and can’t do, in life, work, or anything else.  I was simply not going to let this story define me.

But, I’ve realized recently that telling this story is important and that I need not fear being defined by it.  Because the fact is that the life I’ve led, and especially the peculiar kind of life that follows a leukemia diagnosis at 5 weeks of age, has perfectly positioned me to work with the medical industry in 3 very important ways, ways that give me a level of insight and sensitivity to the promotional needs of doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals that I see in very few other marketers.

Make no mistake…telling this story rubs every fiber of my being the wrong way!  And I’m not entirely sure why.  Maybe it’s the way I was raised.  Maybe I’m afraid of the questions that will come my way.  Maybe I really just don’t like to be the center of attention.

Whatever the reason, I don’t like it, but I know I have to tell it because it will help doctors like you so that you can help more patients like me.  Because that’s what the world needs.

So, stay tuned, and in the next post you’ll learn all about the crazy story of my childhood starting with my leukemia diagnosis at 5 weeks old.

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