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Battling And Beating Cancer: Chicago Area Couple’s Mission Is Now A Book

“You have cancer!”  One in every two men and more than one in three women in America will hear these dreaded words sometime during their lifetime.  When someone hears these words, their life changes instantly and they need to know what to do and where to turn.  Scott Seaman and Charlene McMann-Seaman – who battled cancer and helped hundreds of cancer patients – provide that essential starting point in their new cancer survival book.

Personal story of beating cancer by Chicago
Personal story of beating cancer by Scott Seaman and Charlene McMann-Seaman
The Chicago area couple’s battle with cancer began eleven years ago on the day they were scheduled to leave for a Disney World vacation.  Scott was told by an emergency room physician “you have a tumor the size of baseballs in your chest.”

Instead of a week of Mickey Mouse and basking in the Florida sun, it was ten months of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.  Scott, a renowned corporate trial lawyer at Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson LLP in Chicago and Chairman of the firm’s Insurance Coverage Litigation & Counseling practice group, was now battling for his life against non-Hodgkin lymphoma as well as battling adversaries in the courtroom.

Lymphoma is the most common form of blood cancer, impacting 500,000 Americans and killing over 20,000 a year.  Scott was reluctant to endure the cancer treatments, but Charlene says “I told him the cancer won’t kill you and I will help you get through the treatment.  But if you don’t do whatever it takes to beat cancer, I will kill you.”  Not surprisingly, Scott credits Charlene for his beating cancer.

Once the treatments were done, Scott did not want the words “cancer” or “lymphoma” spoken in the house anymore.  Charlene had a different view.  She insisted that they work to cure cancer and help people who are battling the disease.  Scott jokes, “I’m a lawyer and the idea of helping someone else never occurred to me.”

As part of their mission to cure cancer, the couple co-founded the Chicago chapter of a national blood cancer organization and spearheaded an annual 5K walk and run at Montrose Harbor that now takes place in 16 cities across America.  They engage in public policy activities and work directly with cancer patients and their families.

onair330_DSC_7653Last year, Charlene received a Jefferson Award for Public Service for her public service. The NBC 5 Chicago Web site notes Charlene’s “activities and efforts in organizing charitable organizations, educational events, and fundraisers have had a tremendous impact of the lives of countless patients and families living with cancer in the Chicagoland area and on a national basis.”

Former Corporate Executive-Turned-Cancer Champion Fights For Cure, the couple is quick to credit the generosity, help and big hearts of so many Chicago area people and companies.

Their new book “Battling And Beating Cancer – The Cancer Survival Book” is inspiring and informative.  Scott and Charlene provide readers with a front row seat for diagnosis, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and living as a cancer survivor.

They tell their story in an engaging, candid and powerful manner – with a mixture of wit, wisdom and sarcasm.  At the same time, they actually are telling the story of many cancer patients and  demystifying the experience for others.  They provide important insights on selecting doctors, surviving a hospital stay, being on the right side of survival statistics, obtaining a proper diagnosis, selecting the proper treatments, and understanding clinical trials.

They write about developing a “cancer warrior” mentality, “chemo brain,” the role of the immune system in cancer, healthy life style issues, and so much more.  They believe cancer survivors have a responsibility to help others with cancer and they provide numerous suggestions as part of their national “call to action to cure cancer.”

The book is something that cancer patients and caregivers will want to carry with them because it contains helpful checklists, pointers, questions to ask the doctors, and a listing of cancer organizations and resources.  It also has a patient’s medical information notebook and weekly schedules to record important information.  The book features a foreword by Dr. Stephanie Gregory and Dr. Henry Fung, prominent oncologists as Rush University Medical Center.  Battling And Beating Cancer – The Cancer Survival Book” is aptly named and now available at

Scott and Charlene remain in the front lines on the battle against cancer.  They also are involved in launching a landmark program with the Jefferson Awards for Public Service aimed at promoting healthy diet and exercise and reducing obesity in students.

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