Local baseball coach details journey in book
by Emily Horos
November 30, 2012 12:42 AM | 3431 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mark Tidwell
Mark Tidwell
Mark Tidwell wanted to write a book to share the journey he has been on while coping with a terminal illness — Stage 4 colon cancer.

But the former baseball coach at the Walker School, and current community coach at Dominion Christian, decided that not many people would want to read a book all about him.

That’s when he came up with the idea of “Leave a Mark”, a book he will launch with a gathering Sunday afternoon at the Brumby Chair Company on the Marietta Square. Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and Tidwell will be on hand to greet guests and sign books.

First diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009, Tidwell believed he was cancer-free after a procedure in the fall of 2010, but signs of cancer returned earlier this year. Spots were found on a lung and a lymph node in his chest

The first couple chapters of “Leave a Mark” — co-written by Tidwell’s daughter, Jessica, and son-in-law, Dennis Coyle — are about Tidwell and his experience with cancer. After that, the author goes into the lives of other people who have left their mark on society or are working to do so.

“The whole phrase, ‘leave a mark,’ came to me about a year ago,” Tidwell said. “While we are on this earth, we are supposed to do what we were created to do — impact other people, serve other people. I chose the rest of the book to tell about other people who have made an impact on their world in a positive way.”

It took Tidwell about four months to write the book, which draws on some of his personal experiences.

“There were many times when coaches, or those working in leadership with kids, have a lot of potential to have an impact,” Tidwell said. “I could look back and see that the influence or impact part was always happening, but it could be positive or negative.

“But I think that the part that I really drew upon is that there were times that I was not intentional about what I was going. I was doing the things associated with coaching, but I wasn’t pouring into those lives that were entrusted to me in the best way possible.

“I see that opportunity if you are really intentional to impact and influence.”

Some of the people Tidwell features in his book are Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy; Tennessee educator William “Sawney” Webb; Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes, which donates a pair of shoes for every pair sold; and Fellowship of Christian Athletes founder Don McClanen.

Tidwell also features the stories of more anonymous figures — the mother of a president, a 24-year-old girl working at an orphanage in Uganda, a man whose goal it is to provide 100 million people with clean drinking water before he dies.

Fond of the experience he had with his first book, Tidwell has been entertaining thoughts of a second book, with the working title “I’m Terminal.”

“Overall, (writing) was very fulfilling,” Tidwell said. “It’s just something that I wanted to be able to share with people while I could.”
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