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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Professor publishes ‘Petal-less Penny’ for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Professor Bryan Richardson may be a management professor, but he has always made time for his favorite hobby: writing. A few weeks ago, he created a blog where he posted a short story that held a very special place in his heart, “Petal-less Penny.”
On the surface, this short story is the simple tale of a little flower named Penny who appears in a garden to show off her petal-less head. The story serves as a metaphor for anyone who may be losing their hair due to chemotherapy treatment for cancer. The final sentence of the story reads: “She was the prettiest flower in the patch even without any petals.”
“Petal-less Penny” presents a very inspiring message of perseverance for anyone struggling with cancer. The message: Bald is beautiful.
Richardson’s story was posted at an important time. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. He wrote the story in 2010, but Richardson held off on sharing it until only a month ago. The post already has over 400 hits.
Where did the inspiration for his story come from? Richardson is familiar with the struggles that go along with cancer diagnosis. As Richardson was writing his story, his mother was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. “I wrote this story three years ago, the night before my mom went in for her first chemo treatment,” Richardson explains.
For him, inspiration struck at around 3 a.m., and he wrote the whole story in one sitting. “It just felt right,” he says. At first, he only shared this story with his mother as she was going through her treatment, but as he shared it with others close to him, he realized the profound impact this story can have on others.
“Petal-less Penny” helped his mother with her battle with cancer, and because of this, he wants to share it with as many people as possible during a time when the spotlight is on breast cancer awareness. “With so many courageous people and families affected and made tremendously stronger because of this condition, I wanted to extend a hand in assuring them that everything will turn out alright,” Richardson says on his blog.
Even though “Petal-less Penny” is being posted for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the story could be written for anybody with any type of cancer. Penny could represent a little girl with leukemia, a grown man with pancreatic cancer, a mother with breast cancer, or a little boy with lymphoma. Richardson emphasizes, “The story of Penny can be shared in any situation … to boost the spirits of those brave individuals who wear their baldness smiling and proud.”
Richardson is extremely humbled and awed by the positive feedback he has received from his story, and says that it would be his “greatest honor” to one day hold a tangible copy in his hands, complete with illustrations.
He encourages anyone interested in his project to reach out to him. His family drew a lot of strength from his story, and he wants to extend this strength to everyone else going through the same difficulties.
Professor Bryan Richardson’s short story can be found at http://petallesspenny.blogspot.com/, and his email address is [email protected].