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Childhood Cancer Survivor Shares Hope

October 4, 2012, 6:06 PM by Casey Wonnenberg

Childhood Cancer Survivor Shares Hope

When she was five-years-old, she was told she would likely not live to see her sixth birthday. But Melanie Friedrichsen of Luverne is not only alive three decades later, she also hopes to inspire others.

Friedrichsen decorates her house with angels because she believes she has a few guardian angels watching over her.

"I was five when I was diagnosed. They didn't think I would live to see my sixth birthday," Friedrichsen said.

Friedrichsen had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, also known as ALL. Although the survival rate now for children after chemotherapy is nearly 80 percent, when Friedrichsen was diagnosed, it was next to zero.

"The survival rate given to my parents was at most five years," Friedrichsen said.

Now, more than three decades later, Friedrichsen is sharing her survival story. The Luverne woman is now 41-years-old, married, has three children and has written a book called Ending The Pain. She wants to provide hope to other children battling cancer and their families.

"For kids, you can be an adult. You can graduate from high school. You can get married. You can have a fantastic job. It is possible," Friedrichsen said.

But Friedrichsen says her book is not just for children battling cancer and their families but anyone struggling to find hope and happiness.

"Maybe it's the loss of a loved one. Maybe it's troubles with your job. I've always tried to put a positive spin on things," Friedrichsen said.

Because Friedrichsen says through hope and a few guardian angels, you can end the pain and begin a new chapter in your life.

Friedrichsen will have a book signing at Crossroads in Sioux Falls on Saturday, October 13 from 1 p.m. To 2:30 p.m.  You can also purchase Ending The Pain online.

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