HEART OF IRON by Kyle Garlett


My Journey from Transplant Patient to Ironman Athlete
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Freelance sportswriter and motivational speaker Garlett (What Were They Thinking?: The Brainless Blunders that Changed Sports History, 2009, etc.) writes with humor and brutal honesty about his 17-year battle to defeat cancer.

In 1989, Garlett was expecting his senior year in high school to be a ball; when he noticed two lumps in his neck, he wasn't unduly alarmed. A biopsy revealed Hodgkin's lymphoma, but the doctor reassured him that it could be cured. He finished the school year and went on to college, functioning despite the debilitating effects of radiation treatment, but his first year in college was a disaster. He spent his time partying and barely squeaked by academically. Then the Hodgkin's returned and this time he faced six cycles of disabling chemotherapy. After another remission, he buckled down in college and established a career as a sportswriter after graduation. His remission lasted only until 1995; this time, his odds of surviving were reduced to 40 percent. His treatment was so severe that he was on the point of death several times and required a bone-marrow transplant. After finally defeating the Hodgkin’s, two years later he faced leukemia and three more years of treatment. Describing his experiences with wry humor, he chronicles how he managed to keep working, met and married his wife and worked to rebuild his strength. Not content to define himself with just being a survivor, he welcomed new challenges. After recovering from a heart transplant (necessitated by the effects of chemotherapy), he competed in the grueling Ironman Triathlon.

A compassionate celebration of the human spirit that doesn't gloss over tough realities.


Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-61374-005-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Chicago Review
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2011


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