03 March 2014 by Published in: Uncategorized 10 comments

A friend of mine was diagnosed with cancer last week. He’s 40 years old, and an author, and went full time about six months ago.

His blog on his diagnosis can be read here. It’s not what you think – it’s irreverent, heartwarming, and poignant.


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His name is Brandon Hale and he writes the popular Day Soldiers series, which feature a world where the undead walk the earth, battled by a group of young men and women with extraordinary stamina and courage.

Two things Brandon is going to need throughout the coming ordeal.

The other thing he’s going to need is money. He has a young wife who has her own challenges, and God knows being an author doesn’t pay particularly well. And there’s no health plan. No retirement plan. He’s a young man in the prime of life who just began pursuing his dream, fighting tooth and nail to make it in a very, very tough business. And he did it. He isn’t getting rich, but he was able to quit his crappy job and write for a living – something we all aspire to. Hat’s off to him for making that leap. And now he’s got another tough challenge ahead of him. One that I’m asking you to read about, and if so inclined, to help support.

To find out more about Brandon’s situation, here are two blogs that best summarize it: One on what getting this sort of devastating diagnosis has taught him, and the other on gratitude, and what will be required moving forward.

If you want to support his cause, as I and quite a few of my author friends have, click here.

You never know what life’s going to throw at you. Sometimes it’s all curve balls and sliders, and the only thing you can do is stand your ground and wait for something worth swinging at. What I have learned, though, is that we are at our best as humans when we’re giving, not taking. A lesson too few seem to understand these days.

My mom used to be fond of an expression that comes to mind: “There but for the grace of God go I.” Exactly. We are all cast from the same clay, and it could just as easily be any one of us. So act as you’d want to be treated if I was writing about you.

If you’re so inclined, please share this blog and encourage folks to help out. I’ve never written a blog like this before, nor shall I again. This will be the only one, and I hope that impresses upon my readership how important I feel this is.

Thanks for taking the time to read it.



  1. Mon 03rd Mar 2014 at 6:22 pm

    Nice attitude Russell. No wonder your Karma is so good. Hope this young guy improves and succeeds.

  2. Mon 03rd Mar 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Russell, I just wanted to say that I read your blogs regularly and you’re an inspiration to all authors (newbies and established ones too), you kindly take time out from your busy writing schedule and you provide wisdom and help so many people – far more than you can ever realise.

    You come across as a decent goodhearted person and good karma finds its way to people like that, who unselfishly help other people. Your books are fantastic too!

    I’ve been self-publishing for about two years and have found Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ book very helpful and I’ve found your inspirational blogs here very helpful also.

    You work so hard and deserve every bit of success you’ve had and more that is on its way over the coming years.

    I just wanted to say thank you.

    Have a great day, and may everyone else on here too. 🙂

  3. Mon 03rd Mar 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I accidentally posted my last post (about how well you’ve done with your writing and that I and others find your blogs about improving as authors inspirational and helpful) here instead of on a different section of your blog. Apologies. I meant to post on a different thread/topic.

    I’m sorry to read your friend has been diagnosed with cancer, my heartfelt sympathies as my mother and uncle were too. I hope the medical world find a cure for it one day. Some people go into remission and recover, I hope your friend does also.

  4. Lynda Filler
    Mon 03rd Mar 2014 at 11:02 pm

    You have such a big heart…who would have thought…

  5. Tue 04th Mar 2014 at 2:03 am

    Hello, all. I’m the friend Russell is referring to in this post. I just wanted to come in and give a big thank you to him for posting this. Today, I’ve been genuinely overwhelmed by the amount of love and support I’ve received from so many people, Russell included.

    It’s the kindness of people like Mr. Russell Blake that gives me the strength to fight this fight.

    Of my friend, I can only say this: of all the souls I have encountered in my travels, his is the most… human.

    (Yes, that last line was stolen from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but hey… it fits)

    • Kim Cano  –  Tue 04th Mar 2014 at 6:24 pm

      Hi Brandon,

      Sorry to hear of your illness. I will pray for your recovery.

      Not sure if this info is helpful, but I saw a program on Netflix called The Gerson Miracle about something called Gerson Therapy. It’s an alternative healing treatment that people claim has cured cancers deemed incurable. Maybe something to check into that can be done in addition to what you’re doing. Their website is gerson.org if interested.


  6. Tue 04th Mar 2014 at 2:33 pm

    Another great way to support Brandon would be to organize a book bomb – a specific day when people go purchase one (or more!) specific titles on Amazon. This could give him a serious boost up the ranks and has a nice halo effect in terms of keeping the visibility (and cash) going. Dave Farland did one when his son, Ben, was in a terrible accident, and they had no insurance, either.

    Just a thought. 🙂

  7. Tue 04th Mar 2014 at 7:13 pm

    Brandon, don’t know if any of my specific mind-programs would help but you might like to take a look at my website below. If any of the programs appeal let me know and I’ll email you free Word copies. http://www.mindtech.com.vu/ My email is [email protected]
    Good luck buddy……James

  8. Wed 05th Mar 2014 at 9:28 am

    Over recent months we have been going through intensive cancer treatment for my beautiful 9 yo daughter. It’s a very tough thing to go through, but it’s also very comforting to have people looking out for you, like you are for your friend. In our case we got great news of remission a few weeks ago. We’re now trying to rebuild and heal.
    I wish your friend all the best and I’m sure that he is very grateful for your kind support.

    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 05th Mar 2014 at 12:09 pm

      It’s got to be very hard. I know from going through six months of intensive chemo with Lobo how draining it is for those around the patient. I can only imagine how much more so it has to be with a human child or a spouse. I’ve always believed that the measurement of our value on the planet is not by what we can build, but by our compassion. All I’m doing is trying to walk the walk, because talk’s cheap.


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