Kyle Garlett is the first man to complete the Ironman World Championship with a donor heart. Teens will be amazed by his story, from his initial cancer diagnosis at age 18 through to the present, which he relates with humor and optimism. For more about Kyle, try a few of the media links on his website.
This is a great recommendation for teen athletes and those who enjoy inspiring stories.
Adult/High School–At 18 years old, Garlett was ready for his senior year in high school. He was not ready to hear his mother tell him: “You have lymphoma.” Five months of radiation and it looked like he had it beat. But it came back. This time he had chemotherapy treatments, and while one of the medicines nearly killed him, he recovered and re-created his busy and fulfilling life. But… it came back. This time, the chemo was extreme, ravaging the cancer cells as well as Kyle’s most essential organs–his lungs, his bones, his heart. This was followed with stem-cell therapy. Weakened but alive, the teen gathered back the pieces of his life. Until he was diagnosed with cancer for the fourth time. If this were the end of Garlett’s story, it would be incredible. But there’s more. Hip replacement, shoulder replacement, and finally, heart transplant. If his story ended here, it would be miraculous. But there’s more. Eleven months after his heart surgery, Garlett completed the Nautica Malibu Triathlon. He tells his story as he has told it before audiences across the globe, and it is particularly moving for young adult readers, given how old he was when he was diagnosed. And for teens battling cancer themselves, he is a beacon. He is a Survivor, with all the honor and grace the word bestows.–Diane Colson, Palm Harbor Library, FL