Life, with Cancer: The Lauren Terrazzano Story

lauren2Journalist Lauren Terrazzano had two life goals: win a Pulitzer Prize and write a book.

In 1996, the fearless young journalist shared the Pulitzer Prize with her team at Newsday for their coverage of the TWA Flight 800 crash. Unfortunately, she was not able to achieve her second goal. At age thirty-nine, Lauren’s life was cut short by lung cancer just three years after her diagnosis.

But that dream did not die with Lauren.

Her father, Frank Terrazzano picked up the torch and, with the help of co-author Paul Lonardo, wrote Life, with Cancer: The Lauren Terrazzano Story. In writing this book, Terrazzano wanted to honor his daughter’s memory as a dedicated and well-respected social journalist who was a voice for the voiceless.

So many wonderful examples of Lauren’s investigative reporting….

When she reported on the lack of adequate security at New York nursing homes, new legislation was introduced and she received a commendation from Governor George Pataki.

While her cancer was in remission, she accompanied four young men on a helicopter mission to hurricane ravaged parts of Guatemala. She reported her experiences in an article that was widely syndicated in the United States.

In the fall of 2006, the cancer returned, but Lauren decided to fight it with words. After receiving a weekly column entitled, Life, with Cancer, she shared her experiences in the hope erasing the stigma associated with lung cancer. She wrote with humor when she discussed “the dumb things people say to those who are ill” and with anger as she wrote about the complicity of tobacco companies.

In a recent interview, Lonardo admitted he was skeptical at first, but after learning more about Lauren, he realized that “it was her life story—not just her death story” and the book would inspire young female journalists.

A wonderful tribute, filled with sensitivity and love, from a father to his only child.


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