PUTNAM VALLEY, N.Y. -- A Putnam Valley resident has written a new book about the darkest time in his family's life that he believes will give people hope.
Joe Bagnato is the author of "Family Inspires Great Hope Together: - How We Fight", about his daughter Caitlyn's 10.5 month battle with stage four liver cancer. The book will be released on Nov. 3 with a release party being held on Nov. 28 at Grace United Putnam Church in Putnam Valley from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Caitlyn was diagnosed two days after Christmas in 2008. The cancer affects mostly people in their 20s and there is no cause nor treatments for it. Caitlyn went into a coma in April 2009 and was put in hospice care where she lived for another five months.
"She was a strong kid," Bagnato said. "This book was a journey but how we fight and how family inspires great hope together. Without hope we have nothing. We never gave up. Even though she has passed on, the journey doesn't end."
Since her passing, Bagnato has formed a foundation that helps children and families battling rare forms of pediatric cancers and blood disorders at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and attends bereavement counseling.
"We bury our parents, we don't typically bury our children, especially a young child," Bagnato said. "When you lose a child at 15, you really have nothing left."
Despite what he endured, Bagnato's faith in God remained stronger than ever with him witnessing the miracle of Caitlin coming out of a coma.
"She started to come out of a coma on Easter Sunday," Bagnato said. "That's how simple miracles are. God gives us miracles whether we see them or not. That's how simple miracles are."
Everyday at the hospital, Bagnato would go to the chapel and light a candle.
"We had to have faith in order to do this," Bagnato said. "There was no question about it."
Bagnato said he hopes people are inspired to not take life for granted and to spend time with their children.
"She loved to bowl," Bagnato said. "We spent every Friday afternoon at JV Lanes. Make as much time with your children as you can. You'll never forget it."
For more information on the book, visit https://www.facebook.com/Family.Inspires.Great.Hope.Together
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