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Cancer survivor bringing story, her new book
to Millikin event

by Huey Freeman, H&R Staff Writer

Herald & Review • November 4, 2009

DECATUR - While thousands of researchers have expended tremendous amounts of money and brain power to discover treatments to battle cancer, Sarah K. Johnson has single-handedly broken ground on a new way to treat cancer victims.

Johnson, 23, a Millikin University graduate who survived a bout with cancer while in high school, wrote a book on how to best treat young cancer victims.

"Oops! Did I Say That?," a picture book released by Millikin's Bronzeman Books early this year, tells how a young girl responds to various statements made to her while she is hospitalized.

Johnson, who recovered from a deadly form of leukemia after receiving a bone marrow transplant, will speak about her ordeal and her book at a Millikin Cancer Coalition event Thursday evening.

Since Johnson's book came out, she has been hearing from other cancer survivors.

"It's been such a neat experience to hear other people's stories and for them to tell me that my book had guided them and given them hope in the process," Johnson said.

Johnson worked with Bronzeman Books and other Millikin groups to plan the event, which will include Lori Kerans, the women's basketball coach. There will also be speakers from Up 'Til Dawn, a group Johnson founded that raises money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital; Tri Delta, a sorority also a St. Jude supporter; and several employees from local hospitals.

Johnson said she admires Kerans, a cancer survivor, who connected her with other cancer fighters while she was a student.

Kerans plans to tell a little bit about her cancer bout, as well as the times she worked with Johnson a few years ago on charitable causes.

"I first knew Sarah as such a phenomenal student leader on campus and a great student," Kerans recalled. "At first, I didn't realize she was a cancer survivor."

Kerans said she is looking forward to the event, especially as a way to embrace Johnson and show appreciation for her great accomplishments.

"She is a woman of great faith and family and great love," Kerans said. "There is something about coming out the other side, you feel a little differently about the way you give and serve."


WHAT: Millikin Cancer Coalition event, with author Sarah K. Johnson and women's basketball coach Lori Kerans
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 5
WHERE: Perkinson Gallery, Kirkland Fine Arts Center, Millikin University | 421-6985 (November 4, 2009)


News Story. "Cancer survivor bringing story, her new book to Millikin event." Herald & Review, (Decatur, IL), November 4, 2009.

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