Title: Heart of Iron
Author: Kyle Garlett
Book Release: November 1st, 2011
Book Description(from Facebook page)
On September 26, 1989, as an 18-year old high school senior, Kyle Garlett's life changed forever. It was the first time he heard the words, "You have cancer." But it would only be the first of four such devastating diagnoses - an ongoing battle with cancer that would take him through radiation, chemotherapy, a bone marrow transplant, and then even more chemotherapy when his cancer battle morphed into a secondary leukemia.
And just in case the 54 months spent in treatment that finally ended in 2000 wasn't enough, the very next year, following a pair of surgeries to replace two of his joints, Kyle was placed on the heart transplant waiting list, leading to an eventual transplant in 2006.
But survival wasn't enough for the then 35-year old. Just eleven months after transplant he crossed the finish line of his first triathlon. And on October 10, 2009, three years to the day after receiving his new heart, Kyle became the first heart transplant recipient to ever compete in the famous Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI.
I have been spending this summer reading books that serve as inspiration to my goal of running my first marathon. I came across this title and decided to give it a try to see what I could take away from the book. I read the description and thought this will be a great story. What I was not in store for was how many operations and cancer situations Kyle had to endure. I was blown away as each time I read about his next setback in health he would fight like crazy to beat it to only have to endure another setback. This was very motivational for me. Here is a guy having to undergo so much(it really is mind blowing what he all goes through) While I complain about a marathon training program. It really put things in perspective for me. I am quite lucky to have my health and the health of my children.
Kyle serves as a perfect example of my little mantra, Getting It Done. He got it done each and every single time he was dealt a bad hand. To read his story and follow his journey as he then prepares for the Ironman is even more amazing. I cannot tell you how many times that I am out on a long run feeling tired when I think of his story and it propels me to toughen up and run.
I don't know that I would have the perseverance that he possesses both with his health and his goal of completing an Ironman.
I found this to be a great story and I hope this book falls into the hands of many because whether or not you are an athlete there is so much to be taken from his story. A great read and one that I will be encouraging others to read.