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Russ Symmes would want you to know one thing: No matter what you are facing right now, live full out. For him, it was cancer. He turned a three-month prognosis into a decade of purpose, healing and finding love.

Inside these pages, you’ll discover:

  • How to navigate through life in the midst of life-changing diagnosis.
  • A champion who taught wellness and reinvention through his poetic words, actions and beliefs.
  • A couple who said yes to love despite the odds.

Filled with Russ’ journal entries, intimate poetry and life’s unexpected gifts, whatever your circumstances, you will be inspired by one’s man’s journey to never give up.


Russell K. Symmes (Russ) was an entrepreneur in video, film production and travel. He was diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor at the age of thirty-three and began writing poems after his diagnosis.

A recipient of the Editor’s Choice Award for Outstanding Achievement in Poetry by the National Library of poetry. He dedicated his life to help other newly diagnosed brain cancer patients through the Bloch Cancer Hotline.

Russ lived a life of adventure with his wife, Louisa, family and many friends. He never missed an ASU football match. He was known by many as “The Big Kahuna,” a nickname given while a linebacker for Arizona State University.

1942 Amsterdam Ave NY (212) 862-3680
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