The Unexpected Gift
Profiles in Courage from Cancer Survivorship

A Future With Hope

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When a Person First Receives a Cancer Diagnosis, Their First Thought Is Often "Why Me?"

The remarkable men and women featured in this book have turned that question into "Why not me?" These heroes come from diverse backgrounds, cultures, ages; their types and stages of cancer likewise vary widely. But what these spokespeople share is the desire to inspire us, in direct and nontechnical language, to experience adversity as an opportunity.

Featuring twenty-one first-person essays, The Unexpected Gift: Profiles in Courage from Cancer Survivorship, introduced by beloved physician, community leader, and survivor Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, explores themes such as the importance of sharing the cancer experience traits that can emerge or develop in times of trial, the deepening of faith, a new stewardship of one's physical wellness, and the necessity of perseverance.

Together, these voices create a complex and powerful portrait of courage, resiliency, and the meaning of survivorship. The Unexpected Gift empowers and uplifts patients, family members, and caregivers alike with a message of hope.

All proceeds from the sale of The Unexpected Gift will benefit the Novant Health Foundation.

"There's something within us that cannot be quantified, that cannot be easily measured, and that is an individual's spirit. Cancer itself is not a gift, but how you deal with it can turn it into one. Our hope is that these stories will contribute to your resiliency, whether you are a patient yourself or the family member or loving fried of someone who is."
— Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, physician, community leader, survivor

Reflections from Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown

July 21, 2020
Novant Health's chief community and wellness officer shares her reflections. In this candid conversation Ashleigh Hargrave and Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown talk diversity, inclusion and health equity as Brown reflects on her many years of groundbreaking service to the Charlotte and Novant Health communities.

A living legacy: Dr. Ophelia Garmon-Brown

July 23, 2020
Physician, community clinic founder, diversity, inclusion and equity advocate, minister and inspiration. These are all roles that describe, Ophelia Garmon-Brown, MD. In this episode, she explores the "why" behind the work and leadership she has provided to the Charlotte community.

As of July 30th, we are pleased to share the launch of a new book, The Unexpected Gift: Profiles in Courage from Cancer Survivorship. Through her own battle with cancer, Ophelia Garmon-Brown serves as the inspiration for the book along with nineteen other Novant Health patients that poignantly share their stories of survivorship. *The Unexpected Gift is available today for purchase at or any Novant Health Gift Shop.

Product details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Novant Health (July 30, 2020)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0578681056
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578681054
  • Price: Print = $16.00; Kindle = $8.99