By Donald Vowels
6 x 9 inches
Pub date: March 2017
Case Qty: 18
Health / Cancer
Donald Vowels, of Louisville, Kentucky, passed away on March 25, 2017, after a valiant five-year battle with cancer.
Don held a master of arts degree in theology and a master of science degree in social work and was a licensed clinical social worker. He thrived in an independent counseling practice for more than 25 years, specializing in cancer and chronic illness, grief and loss, spiritual direction, mood disorders (anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder), addictions, relationship issues, and crisis counseling.
As a former Roman Catholic priest and a clinical social worker, Don counseled many people who had a cancer diagnosis. He created and facilitated a bi-monthly breast cancer support group for 17 years, and assisted family members and friends who were dealing with cancer.
Don's own experience with cancer started in January 2012, when he was diagnosed with anal squamous cell cancer during a routine colonoscopy. His battle with cancer taught him that life is fragile and unpredictable, that it should be enjoyed and lived – mindfully, fully, and as richly as possible – in the moment.
Don started writing an online journal on the Caring Bridge website to inform family and friends of his health status and to use writing as a method for processing his emotional, mental, and spiritual reactions to living with cancer. In his journal entries, the theme of practicing present-moment awareness emerged as a powerful tool to bring peace. When others told Don that his writings about his own life's journey through cancer were benefiting others, he decided to publish them into a book that could be shared with others walking a path similar to his, and Life is Now: Living a Life of Peace in the Midst of Cancer was born.
The Donald Vowels Life is Now Fund, in the Norton Healthcare Foundation
Donald Vowels was a special person to many people at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1989, he began working as a chaplain and coordinator of lay ministry at the downtown adult and children's hospitals. During that time, he began working with a surgeon at Norton Hospital, Louis Heuser, to provide spiritual counseling and case management for surgical oncology patients. In 2009, he co-hosted "The Art of Healthy Living" radio show, sponsored by Norton Healthcare.
Don was a long-time patient and friend of Norton Medical Group primary care physician Dr. Mary Barry. In 2012, he also became a patient at Norton Cancer Institute. His personal financial struggle to make ends meet while battling cancer, and the great compassion and empathy he received from the physicians and staff at Norton Cancer Institute, inspired him to establish the Donald Vowels Life is Now fund in the Norton Healthcare Foundation to provide financial support to families and patients of Norton Cancer Institute needing assistance with everyday expenses.
Don is donating proceeds from the sale of this book to the Life is Now fund so that he can help ensure compassionate care for those who travel a path similar to his.
For additional information, visit www.nortonhealthcarefoundation.com.