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By LARRY VAUGHT
If you are a University of Kentucky basketball fan and have not yet read Mark KrebsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ book Ã¢â‚¬â€ Beyond a Dream Ã¢â‚¬â€ you really should.
Krebs, a walk-on guard from Newport, compares the coaching styles of Tubby Smith, Billy Gillispie and John Calipari in the book and what it took for him to earn a spot on KentuckyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s roster as well as what he had to do each year to keep that spot. However, the book is also about the courageous fight his mother, Terri Krebs, showed in her battle with cancer after being given only nine months to live when she was originally diagnosed with the disease in 2001.
Terri Krebs had 390 chemotherapy treatments and seven surgeries but she was at center court with her son for UKÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 2010 Senior Day, a ceremony few UK fans who were there will ever forget.
Krebs continues to travel across the state giving speeches and promoting his book. He also does both radio and TV work with Matt Jones in Louisville.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I really want to move on, but I also want to keep the book going and it just seems like something else keeps coming along to give me an opportunity to promote the book,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Krebs. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I really didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know what to expect from the book when IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†did it. Part of me was like if it takes off, it will sell out really fast. Another part said if sales were slow, it would still be worthwhile if it just helped one person.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now sales are pretty steady. I have so many people go online and tell me what the book meant to them. Schools have welcomed me with open arms and are ready to hear my speech. I spoke to the governor and his wife and cancer survivors. I got all kind of e-mails and feedback on the book and how accurate it was when it came to my momÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s battle with cancer. If the book has helped just one family maybe get through its ordeal, then it was more than worth what it took for me to do the book.Ã¢â‚¬Â
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s obvious the book was a labor of love for Krebs. Yet part of the book had to be painful for him to relive some of those difficult times with his motherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s fight with cancer.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“In some ways, it was tough to do the book. I knew when she was getting toward the end. She was in a wheelchair, the chemo was rough and the cancer was growing. The book brought upo a lot of memories from my freshman year in high school, which was the toughest time,Ã¢â‚¬Â Krebs said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It was really tough when she passed away, but in some ways the book was almost therapeutic. I knew this could be something big and important and IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†had to keep writing to get the book out there.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I still think about my mom every day. When speaking and telling the story of her determination and outlook on life, it does bring back great memories. Those are the good memories I always want to keep. IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†am pretty good at controlling the emotional part when I am talking. But it does get me inside. It inspires me and the inspiration she provided me and others is the most important part of the book.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Krebs says not everyone can fully comprehend the emotional, mental and physical distress his mother was under during her nine-year battle with cancer before she passed away after his UK career ended.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The thing people donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t realize about mom, especially if they are a 15-year cancer survivor, is that she never had a chance to be in remission,Ã¢â‚¬Â Krebs said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“From six weeks after her diagnosis it was as bad as you could get and she would not ever be cured. For her to fight the way she did because she wanted to see things like my sister getting married, my brotherÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s graduation, family vacations, every game at Rupp Arena she could was just remarkable.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“She saw her granddaughter born. If she had just passed away nine years ago, she would have missed so much. She loved her family and hung in there for as long as she did because every day with her family was like a vacation for her. Every day with her was special and IÃ¢â‚¬Ë†hope the book makes that clear.Ã¢â‚¬Â
It does and that book about his experiences in life and his momÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nine-year battle with breast cancer is inspirational for many, many reasons. Go to http://www.beyondadreambook.com/ to read and hear more and also order a book that will make you smile and cry as you read it.