My Pledge of $1 Per Book to The American Cancer Society Caused a 2X Cancer Survivor Friend to Read the Article about the Secret Jews in Colorado, and Breast Cancer. That Article and the test she had lead her to opt for preventative surgery, by Paula Rose Michelson


As an author of historical fiction dating back more than 500 years, I have had a difficult time finding two primary resources for the historical facts I use. I cannot use the facts without verifying them. At one point I needed corroborating information to verify that the Sephardic Jews who fled New Spain settled in Colorado. In October of 2008, Marie Oden gave me an article from that month’s Smithsonian Magazine titled The 'Secret Jews' of San Luis Valley How Breast Cancer Genes Work.

When Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing Book 1 was at the publishers my dear friend Elizabeth’s daughter died of early onset cancer while serving the Lord in Spain. Although I had never meet Lisa, I knew she was the embodiment of Naomi for she— like my heroine—gave up everything to serve others. I asked Elizabeth and her son JD if I could put ‘in loving memory of Elisabeth Rose Bennett (Alcala-Narro) Leatherwood, a Sephardic Jew who returned to Spain to serve the Lord,’ below my dedication to God, and they agreed.

Later, with published novel in hand, I prepared to return to the writers group where I had meet Elizabeth. For some unfathomable reason I printed out the article about the 'Hidden Jews." I opened Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing to the dedication/in loving memory page, bowed my head and asked God, “What can I give?” Tears in my eyes, I realized that the answer was before me. This Sephardic woman, whom I never met, set an example for me. Her untimely death from early onset cancer, her being a member of the Sephardic population the article had been written about, and her life of service to others reminded me that each person is irreplaceable, each person matters. Wiping my tears away, I pledged that $1 from the sale of each volume of Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing would go to The American Cancer Society!

A year later I mentioned my pledge to my friend Melanie because she had not only survived cancer twice, but was actively involved in raising money for the American Cancer Society. When she asked why I had made my pledge I suggested she visit my www.PaulaWordsmith.com website and read the article about breast cancer. However, she did more than that! Something in the article lead her to believe that she needed another evaluation. She brought the article to her doctors attention, and he authorized another session of genetic counselling. She was tested for the mutation and found to be positive. Melanie will undergo preventative surgery.


Smithsonian online article click here: The 'Secret Jews' of San Luis Valley How Breast Cancer Genes Work

To read the article at www.PaulaWordsmith.com

To interview Paula Rose Michelson, Melanie Vliet or both of them
or to invite them to appear on your show email 
paula@paulawordsmith.com, and put the words Secret Jews in the subject field

Category: 2 comments

2 comments:

Marie said...

I adore how we are bound up in one another's lives and calling; and how the Lord interweaves His excellent purposes by the Spirit as we seek to obey His prompting and guidance. We belong to the King of Glory Who does amazing things as we abide in His love and grace. And, He is for the afflicted, the poor, the grieved. He bestows requisite help and mercy! (I love your obvious compassion and passion!)

My Name is Paula Rose Michelson said...

May the Lord bless and keep you. I hope the material posted here, that is linked to the Smithsonian article gives those who need the information a resource. Furthermore, I pray that those fighting the good fight will read about Melanie and know that God cares.

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