This book has its roots in a remarkably candid and beautifully written blog: The Dis Ease Diary
That blog sparked a series of conversations on Minnesota Public Radio News that began in 2011 but only after some serious soul searching by journalist Cathy Wurzer and Bruce Kramer, the former Dean of the College of Education at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Bruce was diagnosed with a brutal disease in December of 2010: ALS. You've probably heard of the disease, thanks to the incredible social media attention given to the #ALSIceBucketChallenge in the summer of 2014. In the 1930's America first heard about ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) when baseball superstar Lou Gehrig developed the disease. Gehrig died just two years after his diagnosis at Minnesota's Mayo Clinic.
This is his famous farewell.
Bruce's radio conversations have struck a nerve with listeners. They aren't easy to listen to but they are life changing. Here's what one listener wrote:
“Thank you, Cathy and Bruce, for the extended gift of your conversations. Each one, rich with extraordinary intimacy, honesty, and depth, has stimulated deep reflection and renewal of priorities for me. You have both contributed enormously to my life, and I thank you for this wonderful series.”
The book "We Know How This Ends: Living while Dying" is based on Bruce’s blog entries with thoughts from Cathy. Because of Bruce’s physical condition, it was necessary to speed up the timeline for such an endeavor. Many people want to know why Bruce decided to spend the energy to write a book in the remaining time he has left. For the life long educator, the answer is quite simple:
"I just couldn’t give up being a teacher. I’ve been a teacher all my life and I didn’t want to stop. I thought this could be the most valuable teaching I could ever offer."
We hope you will be able to feel Bruce Kramer's powerful spirit in his wise words. Please follow our progress here. There is a lot more to come!