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Author, cancer survivor to share her inspirational story at Ozarks

April 2, 2015
By cnp
Posted in Community Events

Author, speaker and cancer survivor Sarah Thebarge will visit University of the Ozarks for speaking engagements on Tuesday, April 7, and Wednesday, April 8.

Thebarge, author of "The Invisible Girls," will present a discussion about her book as well as a book signing at 7:30 p.m., April 7, in the MacLean Formal Lounge. She will also deliver the message during the weekly Chapel Service at 11 a.m., on April 8. Both events are free and open to the public.

Her journey from cancer patient to cancer survivor is a profoundly moving story of finding love and redemption in the most unexpected places.

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Sarah Thebarge, author of "The Invisible Girls," will speak at U of O on April 7 and 8.

"The Invisible Girls" is Thebarge’s 2013 memoir that weaves her story of nearly dying of breast cancer in her 20s with the story of a Somali refugee family she met on a train in Portland, Ore., as she was recovering from her cancer treatments.   

A Somali refugee whose husband had left her, Hadhi was struggling to raise five young daughters, half a world away from her war-torn homeland. Alone in a strange country, Hadhi and the girls were on the brink of starvation in their own home, "invisible" to their neighbors and to the world. As Thebarge helped Hadhi and the girls navigate American life, her outreach to the family became a source of courage and a lifeline for herself. Thebarge developed a relationship with them, and over the next few months, while she taught the single Somali mom and her five daughters how to live in America, they taught her how to love and be loved again.

Her book was chosen as the First Year Experience book for incoming freshmen at Mississippi State University, where she delivered the convocation in August 2014.  She is a spokesperson for Vanity Fair Lingerie’s Women Who Do campaign.  She is also a spokesperson for Compassion International.

Additionally, Thebarge’s blog was featured by  Her writing has appeared in Huffington Post, Christianity Today, Sojourners, Everyday Health, Relevant Magazine, The Good Men Project and Red Letter Christian.

As a speaker, Thebarge has traveled nationally and internationally to speak at churches, conferences, college groups, women’s retreats and other venues.

She studied medical science at Yale School of Medicine, and journalism at Columbia School of Journalism.  She currently lives in Portland.