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Tell City native, cancer survivor pens memoir

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By The Staff

WEEHAWKEN, N.J. — Life can change in a matter of hours. A Tell City native has penned her story of just how true a statement that is.

Deborah Ludwig, a 1984 graduate of Tell City High School living in the Northeast, was filming an infomercial the morning of Dec. 17, 2003, but later that afternoon found herself in an emergency room undergoing numerous tests.

The following day she was diagnosed with leukemia. Fourteen months after moving to the New York area to pursue her acting dreams, Ludwig found those aspirations shattered by cancer.

Five years later and with her cancer in remission, Ludwig is sharing her journey of courage, faith and love, especially the love of her sister, Barbara, who risked her pregnancy to be a bone-marrow donor.

"Rebirth" is Ludwig's year-long journal chronicling a story of love, sacrifice, heartache and discovery that culminated in her physical, emotional and spiritual rebirth.

The book is not just about the physical rebirth of the body after bone-marrow transplantation, but also the emotional and spiritual rebirth of healing old wounds and resentments in order to heal the entire person, she said.

Ludwig had been journaling since 1992 and decided to use her journal writing as a tool for healing herself. She went even further by committing to use that journal to author a book that would help others going through similar circumstances, a book that would provide information, encouragement and inspiration.

While this book is written from a leukemia patient's perspective and experiences, its messages and recovery techniques can be beneficial to anyone going through a difficult period, whether it is the person experiencing the pain or family members and friends searching for ways to help.

Her sister, Barbara, is at the heart of Ludwig's story of surviving cancer. Pregnancy is thought to be a nearly insurmountable barrier to bone-marrow donation, so very rarely is a pregnant woman an acceptable donor. However, Barbara was her sister's only hope, and her decision ultimately saved Ludwig's life.

 Ludwig resides in the New York City area and is an actor with credits in independent films, television, commercials and theater. She is also a First Connection and Advocacy Network volunteer for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

She is the daughter of Bill and News employee Nancy Ludwig of rural Tell City. She holds bachelor's degrees from Indiana University in sociology, comparative literature and theater and drama.

While living in Cincinnati, she co-founded Ovation Theatre Co. serving as marketing director then managing director before moving to the northeast in 2003.

Ludwig has been blogging since 2004. To view her blog, visit www. deborahludwig.blogspot.com. For more information on "Rebirth," visit www.Rebirthjournal.com or www. deborahludwig.com.