Can a difficult diagnosis create a stronger faith?
On November 3, 2022, Mark and Mary Kay Liston went to the ER to treat a nasty cough that Mark had picked up. After hours, the doctor entered the room and gave Mark the somber diagnosis of lung cancer, indicating a ping pong-sized lump in his lung. To Mark, who was a healthy, lifelong non-smoker, the diagnosis was both shocking and confusing.
In the following seventy-six days, the author journaled and wrote notes down on all his daily medical interactions, doctor and hospital appointments, and medications given. This meticulous process of fact-finding, coupled with the author’s friend-and-family invitation for -- and inclusion of -- twenty-six others’ stories of similar life-threatening diagnoses, resulted in the compilation and creation of Diagnosed: Inspirational Stories After an Alarming Medical Diagnosis.
The husband and wife Liston team divided the book into two different sections: the first section for the twenty-six individuals interviewed who share their diagnosis/recovery stories, and the second section for the authors’ own story. Each individual who shared had a different story. Each had survived cancer or another life-altering illness, or cared for someone who had. Each one offered special insights.
Yet, all are inspirational stories that can help any reader cope with their own possible life-altering diagnosis. Ninety percent of the patients interviewed shared the importance that their faith in God, and prayer, had played in their recovery story as they, along with the author team, all navigated the powerful, healing waters of faith.
Mark and Mary Kay Liston are retired franchise executives – both presidents of different franchise companies. Mary Kay is a Navy brat – having grown up on Navy bases throughout the west coast and Japan. She received her undergrad at San Diego State, her hometown, and MBA from Pepperdine. She had five other siblings. Mark grew up in Northern Illinois, got married at 18 and had three kids by the time he was 22. His only brother was 18 years older. He lost his dad while in grade school. Now snowbirds, they spend time with kids and grandkids, and enjoy traveling. They were inspired to write this book after a diagnosis of lung cancer.