By CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA | Reporter
Marlo Gottfurcht Longstreet’s life changed overnight when her 10-year-old son Tanner was diagnosed with brain cancer.
After countless tests and seeing a specialist who saw what no one else did, she was told that apart from the glioblastoma brain tumor, Tanner carried a hereditary cancer gene known as the mutant p53.
Longstreet’s daughter Casey was found to also carry the gene and has a 90 percent chance of developing cancer.
When Tanner passed away at age 11, the Palisadian writer turned her attention to making sure her daughter stays healthy and self-publishing her book “Rainbow Around The Son,” detailing the grueling process of losing her son to the deadly disease.
“[Writing] was a very therapeutic way for me to get through everything, but also to document and remember every day,” Longstreet said in an interview with the Palisadian-Post. “The big things, the little things … very simple things that a parent whose child is dying wants to remember.”
It took Longstreet three years to complete her book that holds no punches, giving a vivid and raw account of what she went through.
“When it was hard to write, I stopped,” she said. “Sometimes I’d take a month off, sometimes two months. Sometimes I’d work for a week straight.
“I listened to my emotions and my body and my feelings, and I did what was best to get me through it and to tell the best story.”
In addition to her book, Longstreet and her father started the Tanner Foundation, in the name of her son—an organization focused on helping others identify and treat the mutant p53 gene as best they can.
But unlike most nonprofits, Longstreet said they are not interested in donations or fundraisers.
“I’m not interested in any of that,” she shared. “My dad and I do the work, and I just want to share my story.”
Longstreet has now shared her story at countless galas and similar cancer foundation events, and made appearances on popular talk shows.
“Everything was great in our family, like everything was really good, and what happened to us could happen to anyone,” Longstreet said.
“Rainbow Around The Son” can be purchased at amazon.com/dp/B07HWZQ9HL.