Writing a Happy Ending
Thanks to BIDMC, biographer Josh Sklare has a chance to continue his story
A publisher and biographer who has chronicled the lives of many interesting people, Joshua Sklare is well-versed in telling the stories of others. After receiving life-altering care at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, however, the tables have turned, and now the story is about Sklare. His tale is one of survival, hope, and gratitude.
Sklare was recently diagnosed with stage one colon cancer after a routine physical in his hometown of Boca Raton, Florida. “My life changed dramatically within just a matter of minutes,” reflects Sklare on the unexpected diagnosis that left him and his loved ones “in complete shock.” Unsure of his next move, Sklare called close friend Ronald M. Ansin, a BIDMC overseer emeritus and the subject of his current biography, to share the news and seek advice. That’s when Sklare’s journey with BIDMC began; the very next day, he was on a plane to Boston.
Upon examination of his case, Sklare’s BIDMC care team determined that time was of the essence. Through the swift efforts of oncologist Jerome Groopman, M.D., chief of the Division of Experimental Medicine, Sklare received immediate care and attention. Within one day of his arrival, he was admitted to BIDMC and assessed by gastroenterologist Joseph Feuerstein, M.D. Within three, he was recovering from colorectal surgery performed by Thomas Cataldo, M.D., who successfully removed his entire tumor. “The doctors and surgeons are just tremendous,” notes Sklare. “It’s hard to put into words what they have done for you and the dedication and professionalism with which they approach their mission and calling on a daily basis.”
It’s hard to put into words what they have done for you and the dedication and professionalism with which they approach their mission and calling on a daily basis.
But Sklare emphasizes that credit goes to his entire BIDMC care team for giving him a second lease on life. “Everyone at BIDMC was wonderful, kind, and understanding of what I was going through,” says Sklare, praising everyone from the staff who delivered his meals and cleaned his room, to the nurses who comforted and encouraged him, to the techs that performed his MRI and CT scans. “I am also very grateful to all of those names on the walls, to the people who support the hospital with time and money, like my friend Ron Ansin,” says Sklare. “It is the type of giving that you just don’t think about until it affects you personally.”
Although he is taking one day at a time, Sklare is optimistic about making a full recovery and remains passionate about his future and his work. “Every day I wake up feeling grateful for the opportunity to do the things I love,” he says. “As difficult as it was, my experience at BIDMC opened my eyes to just how precious life is.” Looking ahead, Sklare might soon put his writing skills into practice for an autobiography of his own. “If my story can help encourage and inspire others, I would absolutely like to share it.”