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Race of My Life

Menomonie Reads starts January 8.  This year we are reading local author Dr. David Eitrheim’s inspiring essays on living with cancer.  The Race of My Life, co-authored with wife Amy Eitrheim, is a collection of David’s thoughts after he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of tongue cancer.

Publisher comments on the book:  “His physicians gave him six to nine months to live. As an avid marathon, and ultra-marathon runner, this was shocking and unexpected: how could an otherwise healthy and relatively young man be given such a grim prognosis? With an abrupt end to his medical career, and his running days probably over, he decided to write a weekly blog in order to keep in contact with patients, family, and friends. He wanted to use the time remaining in his life to share his faith, to tell stories, and to educate readers on issues surrounding death and dying, and end-of-life care. Dave’s insight into living with cancer from a physician-turned-patient’s perspective is enlightening and thought-provoking. The questions at the end of each essay are meant to generate conversation, or, at least, to encourage people to think about their own wishes for end-of-life care.”

The library has purchased fifty copies The Race of My Life for circulation and they will be available for check-out starting January 8.  Programming starts in February.  All programs will be held at the library unless noted otherwise.

  • February 2 | 7:00 p.m. Learn about the local Free Clinic. David was a volunteer physician with the Clinic and believed in their cause.  He wrote an essay about the Clinic’s work and it is included The Race of My Life.
  • February 9 | 7:00 p.m. A showing of the film Being Mortal with discussion following. Being Mortal is a PBS Frontline film.  Surgeon Atul Gawande examines how doctors care for terminally ill patients. In conjunction with Gawande’s new book, Being Mortal, the film explores the relationships between doctors and patients nearing the end of life, and shows how many doctors – including himself – struggle to talk honestly and openly.  Eitrheim discusses these issues in essays included in The Race of My Life.
  • February 16 | 6:30 p.m. Advance Directive Panel from Mayo Clinic Health Systems will discuss advance directives and give guidance for creating one. An advance directive is a written statement of a person’s wishes regarding medical treatment, often including a living will, made to ensure those wishes are carried out should the person be unable to communicate them to a doctor.  Everyone should have one!  Eitrheim gives his thoughts on advance directives in The Race of My Life.
  • February 23 | 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Walk/Run at UW Stout’s Sport & Fitness Center multi-purpose room. David Eitrheim was an avid runner.  In recognition we are having an informal walk/run.
  • February 26 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Small group book discussion.
  • March 2 | 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Small group book discussion.

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