Sunday April 17, 2011





The World Is Their Oyster

Choosing To Smile authors nominated for international award

Staff/Voice photos





hoosing To Smile authors Glenda Standeven and Michelle Rickaby held a reading at the library last week. It was the first time ever they've read in a library to the literary community. About 20 family, friends and members of the public were treated to the rare reading.

One of the three authors, Julie Houlker, passed away in January after a 20-year battle with breast cancer.

During the course of the evening, the authors announced that they have been nominated for a Woman of Courage Award which will be given out in Washington DC at the Global Woman's Summit October 8 -11.

Standeven and Rickaby will be in great company with Hillary Clinton, Michelle Obama and Oprah slated to be on the card.

Choosing to Smile is a book for people who have stared cancer in the face and beat it back or who in the midst of battling the terrible disease that has claimed countless lives.

The book encompasses their lives as they battled through cancer and how they overcame the emotional and physical hurdles during their treatment phase and while in remission. It covers the highlights, the lowlights and everything in between.

Many authors are introverts, but not Standeven and Rickaby. Anyone who has ever been at a reading can tell you that the culture of an author reading often creates a barrier between the reader and the audience, making it difficult to transcend the format and bring them into the story. Standeven and Rickaby managed to effectively do that and actually had the audience roaring with humorous anecdotes from their book throughout the course of the evening.

Above all, what they really want is to share a message of hope with people who have been affected by cancer and those currently in treatment.

About the Authors

Julie Houlker was a 15 year cancer survivor who had faced breast cancer three times. (Yes, she actually was one of the few women who have had a mastectomy twice on the same side - a natural breast and a reconstructed breast removed). She lived with metastatic breast cancer for five years after being told she only had 18 months to two years to live. She believed her mission was to inspire others to get through the tough times by choosing to smile. Follow her journey through metastatic cancer treatments on her blog.

Glenda Standeven, first diagnosed with cancer in 1987, was a young mother of a three year old boy, when she lost her entire right leg, hip and pelvis to bone cancer in 1988. Within three years of her surgery she gave birth to her second son despite having only half a pelvis ( ). Since losing her leg Glenda has chosen to smile and devote her time to speaking and volunteering in her community.

Michelle Rickaby was diagnosed in 1988 with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She had two infant daughters when she was diagnosed with the same disease that had claimed her brother’s life five years earlier. She also lost her mother and step-mother to breast cancer after her own diagnosis. Michelle found that choosing to smile helped her through many of the difficulties she has had to face after her cancer diagnosis.

For more information on the award visit:

For more information on where to purchase Choosing To Smile visit:

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