Some of the comments received

This book is a powerful account of fatherly love and methodical thinking (and action) in the pursuit of saving the life of one's closest and dearest. This is one of the most compelling stories you'll ever read about how sheer determination can push the inevitable beyond the realms of reasonable science and medicine. Daniel, My Son was the Cancer Epigenetics Society's book of the month from April to June 2016. Read the full review on their website.

This is an extremely powerful book – I was in tears before I’d finished reading the Preface… It’s a tough read in many ways – following the journey of heartbroken parents of Daniel as they fought to understand their son’s illness and strove to get the best treatment and support for him, during the final five years of his young life.

There is great courage, as the author lays out his emotions, including a transcript of the eulogy he gave for Daniel and an account of the ways he has coped with his own grief. It will be a helpful book for others - there’s even a step-by-step section on how to ensure the best treatment is secured for cancer patients. Ultimately, however, I think it is the message that the author conveys about how privileged he felt to be Daniel’s father, and the lengths he went to, to try to make a difference, that carries the greatest weight - B

 

Your Preface is a masterpiece of honesty, humanity and humility. It frames the beautiful portrait that it is come. As regards the rest of the book I can only say that it carried me along, sometimes even when I feared to turn the pages -  Richard R

 

… words cannot really describe how amazing it really was! Even though it was complex and detailed it was such a page turner! … Thank you so much for sharing Daniel's and your story with the world as I learnt a lot and I think others can learn from your book too – Laura M

[A] testament to the love that shines out of it … As a doctor, I found it difficult reading in places, but ultimately it reminds me of the responsibility I have to patients and their relatives to be the best I can - Matthew R

Brilliantly written and very engaging - AH

It is painful and it is making me cry but the purity, depth and clarity with which you write is music to my soul. I also love your motivations for writing: to help others in their darkest hour; and to keep close to Daniel. – Chloe N

‘The book moved me greatly...It is important that Daniel’s achievements, his potential and his spirit are honoured and you have done a wonderful job of this … You’ve managed to show, through the clear window of his pain and hopes, the suffering and simultaneous beauty in the world that the human mind finds hard to grasp or make sense of’ - Delny B

I … am finding it hard to put down.  Not only because of the story, but I find your writing style very engaging.  I am sure I will be recommending it widely – Carmel D

I’ve never been one for emotionally challenging books and I was not sure how I would get on with “Daniel my Son” given that the subject matter was bound to be upsetting. It is a measure of the quality of the book that I could not put it down even though I wept through most of the second half in very non-Marlburian, non-stiff-upper-lip, way.  I like that you have been very open and honest about your own fears, thoughts and state of mind. I chuckled at the quotations from Daniel (aged four) at the start of each chapter which provided light relief. – Chris R

 

Your book is such an inspiration for others following a similar path – Caroline G

 

Clearly, I found it fascinating,  as I read it cover to cover in just two days, I couldn't put it down. I did go through every emotion in the process,  laughter to tears, but thoroughly enjoyed reading it … I feel certain that David's book will, undoubtedly, much help others in a similar dilemma in the future. I will certainly recommend it to anyone I know in the future who may be in a similar position and suffering the difficulties in choosing best treatments for illness… Since reading about your fight, it has brought back some of my fighting spirit! – Joan S

 

I must say I found the book really incredible … Your book was certainly a powerful account. It was certainly a good book - like others, I couldn't stop reading it and indeed glided through it – Peter M

 

Amazing story of how far a father would go to help his son who had terminal cancer, leaving no stone unturned and battling the medical profession all over the world and putting his own life on hold. He gave Daniel so much love and was there for him on call for the last five and half years of his young life taking him to all the places that Daniel loved.  Lesley

 

Just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with your book – I thought it was a very moving testament to Daniel’s life, and also an absorbing read – it certainly made me think about how precious life is. – Sarah C

 

I found it gripping, thought-provoking and deeply moving. As I read, I felt that I was accompanying you on your journey  … it really allowed me to connect to this wonderful, intelligent and lovable child and made the story even easier to identify with. … Another aspect of your writing which made your story easier to identify with was the humour which shone through, particularly in your relationship with Daniel - Roxanne A

 

What a beautiful book that you have written in honor of your beautiful son, Daniel! You have a magical gift of writing, you are so blessed for that – Mary Anne S, cancer parent, USA

 

I have just finished reading it and wanted to tell you how amazing Daniel is, what amazing parents he has and what an inspirational and very moving read it has been. – Barbara G

 

It moves me so strongly and deeply that I can read it only chapter by chapter and after each chapter I need a rest, because it is so real and brings back all memories – Angelika A, cancer parent, Germany

You tell the story of your assiduous investigations and constant reflections with all the clarity of a lawyer and the deep feelings of a loving father. I found the impact of your approach and style deeply moving and am sure that your book will provide an incredibly helpful guide to others - Stewart C

I’m in the middle of reading your book and can’t begin to tell you how moved I am by it and by the research you did into the illness – Bidi G

 

It didn't feel complicated because everything was explained so well. It was really well written and I have felt like you and Daniel were a part of my life since I opened it – Laura B

 

I wanted to say how well written it is, clearly another talent I didn't know you had! It covered so many emotions that I can only imagine you were all going through and had me in tears on more than one occasion - not a great look while sitting by the pool!! I'm so pleased you wrote it and humbled and honoured to have read it. – Richard M

 

… we were really moved by it. We are sure Daniel would have been as proud of you as you are of him. It was very brave of you to attempt it but the end result is remarkable. - Cheryl and Ivor T

 

I read the part of your book last night that dealt with Daniel's passing and I have to say it was very moving and made me shed tears.  It's a remarkable book – Robin J

 

But for the names, yours is the book I would have written had I had your eloquence and ability … Thank you for writing your book. I know it has made a difference in my life.  Mary E, cancer parent, USA
 

I'm about half way through reading your book - what a fabulous piece of work it is – Julie S

 

I just wanted to say thank you for giving us an insight into Daniel's amazing life. It was an extremely difficult book to read (I'm a Consultant with a bright, sporty teenage son) but I'm very glad I did. Thank you for sharing his story. – Christian A (Consultant Dermatologist)

 

It is a mighty impressive read at so many levels …  I’m learning a lot… – Geoffrey M

 

… I like the way you mixed up the events with comment about what he said as a child to you and you to him and the medical and the personal plus quotes from pieces of literature … – Bob G

 

From what I've read so far I have to congratulate you on a deeply moving and powerful account of Daniels life… There are certainly many lessons here. Also I'm sure the checklist at the end would prove to be extremely valuable to families who find themselves in similar situations.  Owain Clarke (BBC Wales health editor)

I found it extraordinary ... This is a profound and exceptionally well written book.  [David] draws from a wider context, including philosophy, ethics and history. Even though we know the sad ending of this story, the narrative pulls us along as the human story is so compelling. The light-hearted moments make it all the more real. There is also much to learn from the practical advice contained in the book. Thank you, David, for sharing such an inspiring journey - Graeme D

 

 

This is my article recently published by the leading cancer journal Pediatric Blood & Cancer about the importance of oncologists giving hope wherever possible. Read full article here