Author To Speak On Life After Cancer

A New York Times best-selling author will speak about how surviving cancer changed his life at the Survivorship Fair and Summer Gala fundraising dinner for Harmony Hill - a center that provides services to people living with cancer. Mark Nepo, author of “The Book of Awakening” and 12 other books, will be the keynote speaker at both the daytime Survivorship Fair and evening Summer Gala at Harmony Hill Retreat Center on Hood Canal.

Harmony Hill will host its fourth annual “Survivorship Fair.” The fair, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., will include presentations on various topics related to cancer survivorship, healthy living and wellness.

Sessions and workshops will cover topics ranging from tai chi and yoga to nutrition, all amidst Harmony Hill’s stunning gardens that overlook Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains. The Survivorship Fair is free, but registration is required at: http://hhsurvivorship.eventbrite.com/ Information is available online at: www.harmonyhill.org The gala will begin at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at Harmony Hill’s facility, which is at 7362 State Route 106 in Union.

Only 100 tickets are being sold, at $100 a piece, for the event, which will include a dinner featuring local foods and wine; Nepo’s address, plus a book signing and Q&A session with the author; and other fundraising events, including a silent auction.

Tickets can be purchased online by Aug. 5.  All proceeds from the event go to fund Harmony Hill’s cancer program, which provides free retreats for people diagnosed with cancer and their caregivers, to assist them as they make their cancer journey.

Nepo, who is a poet and philosopher, has survived two bouts with cancer himself, and was with his former wife while she also battled the disease. The experience greatly informs Nepo’s thinking and writing about life and how to find meaning in it.

Oprah Winfrey listed “The Book of Awakening” – Nepo’s best seller – as one of her “ultimate favorite things.” Nepo is “a poet,” Winfrey said. “He writes purely from the heart.”

“As a cancer survivor, I have found myself like Lazarus, awake again, in the same earthly place but different,” Nepo has written. “Everything has changed and nothing has changed.” Nepo calls himself “a student of that vibrant edge where our inner life meets the world,” and says his goal is to understand “How can we stay awake and authentic when our wounds make us numb and hidden? How can we minimize what stands between us and our experience of life?”

“We believe Mark Nepo’s journey fits perfectly with our mission,” said Harmony Hill Executive Director Eric Blegen. “To transform the lives of those affected by cancer and to inspire healthy living for all.”