Scott Bigelow | 910.521.6351 | firstname.lastname@example.org
University Communications and Marketing
Thursday, September 30, 2010
“My son, Dillon, and I are celebrating the release of our children’s book ‘Angel and Diesel, A Change in Family Plans,’” said Dr. Joseph Lakatos.
Joseph Lakatos with son Dillon
There is a great deal to celebrate. Dr. Lakatos, an accounting and business law professor at UNC Pembroke, is surviving a battle with cancer that began in 2004.
The net proceeds from the book will go to lymphoma and leukemia research with the support of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The book is part of the healing process, and it is a hope and a prayer for a cure.
“With a focus on family values, the book showcases one of our main characters, our dog, Diesel, who is determined to bring some extra fun to the family’s Saturday plans,” Dr. Lakatos said.
While the book is written for kids of all ages, it is designed for kindergarten and first grade reading levels and is suitable for parents to read to pre-K children, he said.
The book is colorfully illustrated and is planned as the first in a series of books featuring Angel and Diesel.
“Dillon, who is nine, came up with the idea,” Dr. Lakatos said. “We walked through it page by page as he wrote the story.
“Dillon is very creative, and he learned a lot,” his father said.
“The characters of Angel and Diesel are based on our two loving dogs who have been by my side throughout my fight with follicular lymphoma since 2004,” Dr. Lakatos said. “As a f-NHL fighter, I can attest to the power of your help and prayers. Without adequate funding for new cancer research, I would not be alive today.”
Since his diagnosis as a Stage IV-B f-NHL patient, Dr. Lakatos has undergone the following treatment regimens:
The RICE treatment was intense and required hospitalization. He lost 52 pounds during radiation treatments.
To stay alive, he will undergo an autonomous stem cell transplant in the near future.
“I think they wrote me off several times,” Dr. Lakatos said. “Many of the treatments I have been through were not available 10 years ago.
“But none are a cure,” he continued. “We need to find a cure so that our future generations will not have to endure the pain and suffering that many patients, like myself, have endured.”
There is hope for a cure. The medical and scientific communities are working for a cure for many types of cancers including leukemia and lymphoma.
As the book title indicates, the cancer brought many changes to the lives of Dr. Lakatos and his family.
“The biggest thing is to take the positives in every situation and go forward – to roll with it,” he said. “I’m grateful.”
The cancer hit Dr. Lakatos during his second year on faculty of UNCP’s School of Business. He brings a wide-range of training and experience to the classroom with two law degrees. He holds a J.D., LL.M and MBA, and is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner, who was a practicing attorney and risk manager for financial giant Fidelity Investments.
“I fell in love with teaching, and I find it’s a great way to give back,” he said.
For somebody with so much to lose and so close to losing it, giving back is Dr. Lakatos’ message in life and in the book.
“I achieved a lot at a very young age,” he said. “Now, I am getting better and better at being me. Tragedy wakes people up.
“I want people to understand what I am going through,” Dr. Lakatos said. “In an inspiring way, I would have us be a society that is more understanding.
“We know that you will enjoy the book that my son Dillon inspired,” he said. “Our children remind us that there is nothing more important on earth than quality family time.”
To order a copy, please visit the website at: http://angelanddiesel.com.
“Thank you again for your prayers and support for all those who fight cancer and their loved ones,” Dr. Lakatos said. “Let’s work together on a cure!”
The book, “Angel and Diesel, A Change in Family Plans,” is published by New Hanover Printing of Wrightsville Beach, N.C.
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