Ryan and Amy Green are parents to four boys between the ages of 2 and 7. In January 2010, they received some bad news. One-year-old Joel had cancer.
Joel had an Atypical Teratoid/ Rhabdoid Tumor (AT/RT) that was successfully removed. After the surgery he was scheduled to undergo 54 weeks of treatment including chemotherapy and radiation. He never finished treatment because 10 months later he had a tumor recurrence.
Joel Evan Green was declared terminal and the Greens were referred to Hospice and they were advised to sign a do not resuscitate form. However, Joel did not die. This doesn’t mean the last few years haven’t been difficult; Joel has had six tumor recurrences, but he isn’t dead.
A year ago, over lunch, Ryan and Amy first discussed the idea of writing a book.
“We were discussing that he’s not dead yet,” recalls Ryan Green. “And then realized it was an interesting idea because we’re all not dead yet. That’s where the seed for the book first came from.”
While the name may seem startling, the concept of death is very real to the Green family. They’ve seen doctors shocked and thrilled when Joel does better than expected, but they know there are no guarantees. They have found peace in the middle of all the ups and downs.
“These past three years could have been overshadowed by death, but instead they’ve been marked by joy and love.” said Green.
The fact that Joel is alive is something the Green’s want to shout out to the world.
“This book is about choosing to love somebody you know you can lose,” said Green. “We wanted to talk about this while we were still involved in it, not afterward, because I think you find out who you are and what you believe right in the middle of a trial.”
The Green’s book, “He’s Not Dead Yet” faces these painful concepts head on. It is written from the perspective of an older brother, and walks through the story from the dire prognosis of terminal cancer to the fact that, a few years later, this little boy isn’t dead yet. He keeps living, blowing out birthday candles, riding his trike and opening Christmas presents.
While “He’s Not Dead Yet” looks like a children’s book, it will be up to individual parents to decide whether or not it is appropriate for their child. The Greens are acutely aware that everyone is battling something, whether it’s childhood cancer or some other disease or difficult life issue.
The book is about how the Greens have chosen to face their situation, and they hope it will be a comfort to others struggling with their own difficult life journey.
You can read about the Green’s journey at www.joelevangreen.com. “He’s Not Dead Yet” is available at www.hesnotdeadyet.com. For more information about the content of this press release please email RyanGreen8@gmail.com or call 303-249-8245.