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Cancer is no respecter of persons, not of one’s age, gender, class, education, nor religion. When a 20-something receives a diagnosis of a rare, incurable pediatric cancer, one expects “Why me?” to be one of the prevailing questions.

Not so much for 27-year-old Morgan Bolt. Four years ago, just after finishing his university degree and a year into his marriage, Bolt was diagnosed with desmoplastic small round cell tumors. Aggressive treatments brought immediate changes to the life Bolt had imagined for himself and his wife, Christina.

Bolt embraced the unknowns of this journey with a steadfast faith in the God who had always been there for him. A couple of years into the experience, Bolt decided to write about it for himself, his wife, and his family, but also for those who might need perspective or encouragement for their own journey.

Bolt does not offer expected or easy answers to the “why” of cancer and those who get it. Nor does he avoid addressing the brutal and humiliating physical and mental struggles of becoming a cancer patient. He expresses deep gratitude for the blessing of excellent medical care but laments a medical system that does not offer this care for all equally. He is overwhelmed by the care, support, and prayers of those who have a deep faith as well those who do not share his Christian faith. He wonders aloud about the questions and answers Christians have offered to him that have felt false and even harmful.

Bolt balances honesty with a humor that is both poignant and heartwarming. It is rare to encounter the writings of a young person who is able to reflect with such clarity about his own mortality.

Morgan Bolt was able to see his memoir published. He passed away on December 18, 2018, leaving behind his wife, Christina, his parents, siblings, extended family, and community. (Smyth & Helwys)

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