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Book of Memories
By Sandi Magadov

During the 5 months that my 15 year old son was in the hospital, fighting his battle with cancer, friends sent him many cards, baskets, and games to build his spirits. One of the greatest gifts he received was an autograph book, which now has become my treasure to remind me of how strong and special a young man he was. It's easy to remember all the pain, hurt and ugly moments of being in a hospital, but when I need a little positive enforcement, it helps to reminisce over the pages of this book.

Andrew was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet a professional baseball player, the coach of a professional football team, members of a famous rock band and of course, Mickey Mouse. Each one signed an entry in his autograph book. Needless to say, it sure brought a smile to his face.

What we didn't expect was that when he was leaving the hospital, all his favorite nurses, doctors and co-patients signed as well. There are the ones I now cherish. I would like to share some of the writings from his book and hope that it will encourage other parents to keep a memento such as this.

Dear Andrew,
I'm so glad I met you. Try always to think positive and never, never give up. You have to be very proud of yourself. You are a great fighter, and you have a great spirit.

Gabrielle (patient)

Dear Andrew,
You're tougher than you thought (so am I). You and your mom have done good. I am proud of you. I guess together we've brought out the best in us. I have all kinds of memories, and of course, the best is that good old hug.

Pat (nurse)

Dear Andrew,
You are so special. You are one of my most precious patients. You touched my heart.


Dear Andrew,
To a man of few words and a lot of friends.

X-Ray Technician

Dear Andrew,
You were a challenge for us, and you helped us appreciate things in our life. Laugh a lot, enjoy whatever you can wherever you are.


Dear Andrew,
I'm putting this in the middle of the book, so you have to work to find it -not much is easy in life. Is it? Obviously I think you're worth all my work. You sure have been a special part of this unit. Our days and our lives and you always will be, even after you leave the hospital.

Janet (nurse)

Dear Andrew,
It has been a long hard road for you and your family. You should feel good about yourself for all your work. We are all proud of you.

Hillary (nurse)

Dear Andrew,
I will never meet another "Andrew" without remembering you. There is no other person like you and remember, it 's what's inside that makes you who you are. For always and always, you will be a very special person to me.


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