First Survivor by Mark Unger


My Review:

The Unger’s endured every parent’s worst nightmare when their young son, age three, was diagnosed with cancer and given a 0% chance of survival. But the world of medicine is ever changing and with dedicated patient advocates like parents Mark and Mary Ellen, combined with the best doctors in this country willing to try something new, Louis Unger is cancer free and will be turning 20 this year. Heartwarming and heartbreaking, Mark Unger skillfully tells the story of his family; the love and support they have for each other pours off the pages as he navigates the specifics of the deadly cancer his son endured, and ultimately celebrates Lou’s victory as the First Survivor. I highly recommend this inspiring true story and recommend it to anyone who is faced with, or knows someone with a medical challenge.

As Seen on Goodreads:

This is a real life thriller about a family’s battle to save their son from a “zero chance of survival” diagnosis. With the world’s best doctors and the advocacy of his parents, Louis Unger would fight the battle for his young life. His grit and incredible attitude led to a breakthrough that would change how cancer is treated today. This is not a medical journal or a how-to guide. It is a true page-turner that gives you a front row seat to a miraculous story of courage, inspiration and determination.


About the Author:

Mark Unger was born and raised in Solingen, Germany, where his mother and father started a manufacturing business.  In 1978 the family moved to Weston, CT.  He graduated from Weston High School in 1984 and then attended Babson College in Wellesley, MA.  After working in the shipping industry for three years he joined his family business in 1992 and married the love of his life, Mary Ellen Delaney in 1994.

Harry, their first son, was born in 1996 followed by Louis in 1998.  The family was confronted wit Louis’s diagnosis of neuroblastoma, a rare and deadly childhood cancer, on Thanksgiving Day 2001, when he was three years old.  The battle to save Louis’s life and the incredible medical breakthrough that saved their son created a burning desire for Mark to document his unique story.

Today, Mark and his family live in Bethany, CT.  He is a Director and Owner of his family business, Unger Global, and active in a number of charities.  Mark enjoys traveling with his wife to explore new places, playing golf, fishing and riding snowmobiles.

All proceeds from this book will go to the Carrot Seed Foundation where they will be used to find neuroblastoma clinical trials and support the children and families who are stricken by this disease.

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