Turning a negative into a positive is a skill shared by very few individuals, and at times can seem like an impossible task. Some of life's obstacles lack a silver lining altogether, or so it would seem.
Imagine what your thoughts would be when your doctor diagnoses you with cancer. While a reaction is unique to an individual, you could probably assume you'll experience an acute sense of sadness, anxiety, and even anger.
That's what makes the story of Fred Levine so moving.
A middle-aged father of four, after being diagnosed with brain cancer four years ago, Fred never let his illness define him. Rather than let sadness, pity, or the disease overtake his life, Fred did what for many of us would be impossible.
In the face of tragedy, Fred found happiness, and a way to change the world, with a children's book.
Two years ago, Fred wrote and illustrated “Triple Trouble: One Good Deed Deserves Another” a children's book inspired by his life and children, three of whom are triplets. The book centers on the need to do good for others, a message that is integral to Fred's life and work.
Fred originally decided to become an author as a means to occupy himself while battling cancer. Having taken time off work, Fred didn't want to become idle at home. But what began as a personal project has become so much more.
When Fred released “Triple Trouble” in 2013, all proceeds went towards the Pencer Brain Trust, a non-profit organization that generates funds to the Gerry and Nancy Pencer Brain Tumor Center, at Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto. Fred used his talents to aid others in his situation, always maintaining a positive outlook on life.
And Fred is doing it all again, with a little bit of help from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Inspired by his story and message, Toronto's premiere baseball team have already been involved with Fred's books, having sold Triple Trouble through Blue Jays Stores, and will do so again with the sequel “Triple Play.”
Once again, Fred has created a story that embodies the act of “paying it forward,” the notion of performing acts of kindness simply because it's the right thing to do, without the incentive of personal gain. All proceeds of sales will once more go towards brain cancer research, with Fred never giving up his mission to eradicate the disease.
Fred's story is nothing short of inspirational, and has touched many lives, galvanizing otherwise unrelated citizens to become part in the project, helping Fred take his story to new mediums. That isn't to say you can't become a part of the project too.
You can help spread Fred's message and story in the simplest of ways. Share this article, tell others of Fred's story, or buy a copy of his book. No matter how you do it, just pay it forward and help one father change the world.
To read more about Fred and Triple Trouble, please head to the official website here