Lynn Hamilton Ellis writes book as tribute to husband’s ‘extraordinary journey’

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Lynn Hamilton Ellis (’75, P ’02, ’05) wrote Wake Forest Magazine to tell us she just published a book about her late husband Mark Ellis (’74, MD ’77) that is an inspirational true story, much of which takes place at the University.

The book is entitled, “The Humanity of Medicine: The Story of Mark E. Ellis, MD,” and she says it chronicles his extraordinary journey from boyhood to manhood and cancer patient to cancer doctor.

From the book’s summary: “Diagnosed in 1968 at the age of eighteen with a cancerous brain tumor, Mark Ellis was detoured to a life that is not part of any college student’s agenda. His freshman orientation week at Wake Forest University would end with a brain operation and a terminal prognosis. Somehow he would defy the odds, survive five years of intense experimental chemotherapy, beat his diagnosis, and live to become a most beloved and visionary cancer physician.

“This dramatic narration of his life including his childhood, his education, his love of music, his family, his romance, and his illness is a true story that is an inspiring recount of how one man made a difference.  You will laugh, you will cry, you will question coincidence, and you will be in awe of his resolve, inspired by his life, and encouraged to follow your own dreams, regardless of the obstacles you face.”

“Mark and I met at Wake Forest, actually in Dr. Fred Horton’s New Testament class in 1973,” Lynn writes. “(Dr. Horton and many other Wake Forest folks graciously gave permission to appear in the book, and indeed they do). At that time he was finishing his fourth year of chemotherapy, and he was headed to med school at Bowman Gray. He told me his incredible story on our first date, and from that time on I have always wanted to write it down.

“Over the years, of course, his infectiously inspirational story grew as he not only beat his terminal diagnosis, but went on to become a beloved and visionary cancer physician who touched the lives of thousands of cancer patients. Little did we know, back in 1973, that we would not only marry and spend our careers working together, but that we would also have three children who would all grow up to graduate from Wake Forest (Lisa and Robert, ’05) and Mark Jr. (02).”

Lynn planned to possibly publish his story as a book, perhaps upon his retirement; however her husband passed away due to cancer in 2010.  “In keeping with his lifelong philosophy that he borrowed from the Beatles, I am taking a sad song and making it better by donating all of my royalties to various cancer care organizations; a major recipient of those royalties is the Wake Forest University Medical School,” she writes.

The book is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon in paperback and kindle eBook.

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