This is a letter I wrote to the Editor of the New Haven Register on January 11, 2020.

Dear Editor,

Today you published a front page article about a young boy who died after fighting his illness.

The reason I am writing this letter is to tell people to stop focusing on fighting and battling an illness and begin to work at healing your life and body so you don’t empower your disease and then die and become a loser. We are all going to die but the life this boy lived is what makes Trenton immortal, a winner. and a teacher.

I have been counseling cancer patients for over forty years and oncologists began calling my patients, Siegel’s crazy patients, because they knew they would exceed expectations. What patients need to focus on is healing their lives and bodies and letting their hearts make up their minds. Faith, hope and love can do amazing things.

We are not statistics. Let me share some stories.

A Quaker, and conscientious objector, was told by his doctor, “I am going to kill your cancer.” He answered, “I don’t kill anything.” went home and lived twelve years doing his thing. A woman who was given a few months to live said, “I bought a dog and put in a backyard wildlife habitat. Took vitamins. laughed and didn’t die. Now i”m so busy I’killing myself. Help where do i go from here.” I told her to take a nap.

Two men who were given months to  live changed their living conditions. One moved to the mountains of Colorado to die in the beautiful mountains. The other bought a house on the ocean in Miami and cancelled the dress code at work.When I didn’t get a phone call after several months inviting me to their funerals I called to tell their families I was upset by their ignoring my request about attending the funeral. Guess who answered the phone and said, “It was so beautiful I forgot to die.”

I can tell stories forever and why I write books about these people. They are teaching us about survival and self-induced healing. When I meet people I thought were dead they always have a story about why they didn’t die from leaving their troubles to God to wanting to make the world beautiful before they died. They weren’t trying to not die and battle their disease they were spending time living and their body got the their life was not a series of Monday morning, when suicide, heart attacks and moreincrease, but a day for their hearts to enjoy.

Bernie Siegel, MD