Sunday, July 10, 2011

Featured Book: A Life of Love and Courage by Mark S. Foster

A Life of Courage and Love: The Marcia Murphy Lortscher Story - an Inspiration to AllBy any measure, Marcia Lortscher’s life and legacy were extraordinary, but there were few signs of her exceptionalism in her first three decades She was born and raised in a comfortable middle-class Catholic home in Denver, and her family espoused conservative values. Finishing college before the 1970s feminist revolution, she explored several potential career paths before marrying in her late twenties. Marcia could have settled comfortably into a conventional housewife’s role, but fate intervened. Diagnosed as a diabetic at age ten, her kidneys failed shortly after her marriage. Doctors initially demurred at performing a kidney transplant on anyone whose life expectancy was measured in weeks. However, she was accepted as an experiment and became the world’s longest living diabetic kidney transplant recipient, surviving for thirty-six years. Although she experienced a ceaseless array of harrowing medical problems and went blind in her early forties, she devoted her life to serving others through volunteerism. Marcia and her husband did not have biological children, but they served as surrogate parents to well over one hundred young people whom they called their “kids.” Marcia’s most important efforts provided hope to fellow kidney patients and to the blind, but her tireless work on behalf of other social service groups eventually brought her widespread recognition as one of the nation’s most valued volunteers. Although Marcia was uncomfortable with being singled out for praise and disliked being called an “inspiration,” readers of this book may well conclude that such a label is totally appropriate.

About the author:

Mark S. Foster is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Colorado at Denver, where he taught for 33 years. He was named both teacher of the year and researcher of the year and has published eleven books previously, including works on urban transportation, city planning and the automobile culture in the United States; five biographies, including Henry J. Kaiser, Carl G. Fisher and Quigg Newton; and works on the history of baseball.


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