No matter what you believe in, when struck down in your prime by a terminal illness, the reality of our human mortality can hit like a tsunami. Hope Beyond Cure is a remarkable story of courage, resilience, belief and the power of faith. David McDonald’s story will not only inspire you to rise up against your own affliction and never give up, but more importantly it will challenge you to look beyond the here and now for strength, healing and peace.
CEO, Rebels Super Rugby Club, Melbourne
Can anything good come out of cancer? I have watched David McDonald deal with the most significant and unwanted challenge of his life. In these pages he opens his heart about the journey this has taken him on. It’s raw, it’s real, and yet Dave manages to bring into light the surprising power of this thing called hope—true hope. I have seen God at work in his life and I can honestly say my friend is more hope-filled than I can ever remember. His journey shows us why, and his story will speak to all of us.
Senior Pastor, Crossroads Christian Church, Canberra
It’s been more than ten years since David McDonald became the Brumbies’ team chaplain. In my early years as a player I didn’t speak to Dave much. Religion wasn’t something I needed in order to be a good player. I know now I was very naïve, not necessarily about the religion part but about what Dave actually offered to the team. Since retiring from playing and becoming a coach, I’ve spoken to Dave more and more often. He sits in the background not as a crazy stalker, but as a passionate supporter. He’s a good listener and down to earth. He’s not like your typical chaplain—I don’t want to offend your typical chaplain, but he’s not.
Dave was admitted to hospital in the first week of December 2011, one week after my mum passed away. She had been diagnosed with stage-4 bowel cancer just six weeks earlier, and given no hope of cure. During those six weeks after her diagnosis, I battled a huge amount of anxiety and spent many sleepless nights. When I wasn’t at the hospital, I spent all my time trying to find something that would fix Mum.
As I read Dave’s book for the first time, I had to compose myself and dry my eyes on many occasions. I had only ever seen cancer from one side, and I realized I wasn’t looking for a fix for Mum—I was looking for hope. I have found this hope in Dave’s book, and in Dave himself.
Head Coach, Brumbies Super Rugby Team, Canberra
This book deals with issues close to my heart, since my mother died of cancer earlier this year. My only complaint is that it was not published a year earlier—it would have been the perfect book for her to read. Hope Beyond Cure is a moving and deeply encouraging combination of truth, mature reflection and hope, communicated by someone who has known the pit of despair. Read this book and give it away. Its contents should be shared with every person facing death—which, in the end, includes us all.
Constantine R Campbell
Associate Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Chicago
Although David is a theologian and pastor, he writes as a fellow human hemorrhaging emotional and physical pain. I’ve seen firsthand how inoperable cancer stole his future and threatened his hope. If you are doing it tough with illness or hardship, or you just have questions and doubts regarding Jesus, this book is for you. It will not give you pithy, cold and callous answers, but an insightful personal reflection toward real hope beyond cure.
National Director, Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students, Sydney
I admire the honesty with which David talks about his journey with terminal cancer. We get not only insight into his tears and fears but the reactions of those around him as well. He also talks honestly about how his cancer challenged his faith—with 1500 students praying for you, it can be hard to grasp why you are not immediately cured! Faith in a miracle can lead to irrational avoidance of reality and pain for the family—but David never falls into that trap. This is a warm and honest story of hope, love and faith on a journey filled with uncertainties.
Prof. Bruce Robinson
Professor of Medicine and cancer researcher, Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth
Western Australian of the Year 2013-14
This story starts with the words tumour and incurable. David McDonald heard these words when he became a victim of lung cancer. He takes us through the emotional roller-coaster of his diagnosis and treatment, including the challenges to his Christian faith. Eventually Dave transforms those first horrible words into new words: faith, hope and love.
This is a moving read, raw and open. It shows the real hope Christians have. But this is also a book for those with no faith— who have cancer or who care for someone who does—because it brings intensely practical insights to this modern scourge. I highly recommend reading it at least a couple of times.
Dr David Bell
Medical Oncologist, Royal North Shore Hospital, Sydney
Because we’re all cancer sufferers or potential cancer sufferers, we all need this book for our present or our future. Dave doesn’t pull his punches about his illness; yet he does point to hope. Because it’s written from personal experience, not an ivory tower, it’s always real and never trite. This book will make you smile, might make you cry, and may just change your life. Make sure you read it.
Senior Editor, The Good Book Company, London
Author, Original Jesus