In Cancer on the Brain, Jay Lefevers, a commercial real estate appraiser with CRBE, chronicles his personal journey in dealing with first a brain tumor, and two years later, a diagnosis of lymphoma. In 2013, the Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the nation’s largest independent book awards organization, selected Cancer on the Brain as a 2013 general nonfiction finalist.
In his memoir, Jay takes readers through the bewildering world of surgeries, treatments and endless rounds of doctor visits and hospital stays with humor, irreverence and a no-nonsense, no-self-pity attitude. A large part of the book is dedicated to telling the story of the young Phoenix-area Little League players whom Jay coached throughout 2005 and 2007. His writing movingly describes the bonds he and his family established with the players, all while he struggled with surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
“I went from being a husband, father, businessman, baseball coach and runner who thought he had all his ducks in a row, to being someone who woke up every morning in survival mode, with a tumor in my head the size of a plum and a growing incapacity to walk,” says Jay. “I was fighting for my life, but also fighting to be able to provide for my family and my business — on which 10 to 15 employees depended for their livelihood. At the same time, I didn’t want my physical problems to affect the chances of the inner city Little League team I was coaching — young boys and girls from our community who were battling their own hardships on and off the ball field.”