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Most teenagers think of themselves as indestructible. Patty Smith, 17, had no reason to feel otherwise. When a lump on her arm proves not to be benign, life becomes fragile, finite, and precious. How Patty responds could well stand as a model of how we would want to react in similar circumstances.

A graduate of Punahou High School in Honolulu, Patty Smith finished her first year at Stanford University, CA, before succumbing to malignant non-Hodgkin’s melanoma at the age of 18.

Amazon reviewer Kirby Wright said: This series of journal entries spans the last 16 months of Patty’s life and introduces us to the interior world of a girl realizing that being young does not mean she’s immortal. I’m overwhelmed by how strong Patty was during this time. The writing also reveals her fears, sibling rivalry, desire to follow in her father’s footsteps, spiritual convictions, craving for father figures, and the need to leave something meaningful behind. MANGO DAYS is Patty’s gift to us and I thank her for it.

I had the honor of meeting Patty’s parents Kit and Margie Smith while living in Hawaii. Kit was my running mentor for the Honolulu Marathon through The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Team in Training. They provided me a copy of the book and it so inspired me, that I organized the MANGO DAYS 5K to honor Patty, her writing and to elevate awareness of the need for a cure for cancer. The race is now in it’s fifth year under new leadership and Patty will live on through her continued inspiration of others. Buy the book, read it and pass it on to others. -Neil Voje

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