A leukemia and bone marrow transplant survivor of 17 years, Stewart Francke brings his message of hope, humor and survival with every speaking appearance he makes. His speaking experience includes keynotes for GM, the BMT Link, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Michigan Oncological Nurses Association, Gilda’s Club, Henry Ford Hospital, among numerous other groups. His presentation often includes the performance of his lauded music, illuminating a five-tiered look at overcoming even the most daunting obstacles. Interspersed with wise and funny anecdotes from his own experience, the result is a profound, deeply felt—and highly effective—means of lifting his audience out of their apathy and fear and placing them back in the realm of hope, determination and faith. Through his hundreds of concerts and speaking engagements, Stewart has brought hope to cancer patients and similarly troubled people throughout the country. His appeal comes from an ordinary humanity and his eloquent ability to report back from the front lines of his own arduous journey — “I made it through and so can you.”
AN EVENING WITH STEWART FRANCKE
- Having Heart: Allowing and following the gospel music impulse. The gospel music impulse says: We will take the worst that happens to us, this extreme and overwhelming adversity, overcome it, and turn it into something that is hopeful for ourselves and others.
- Surrender and Grace: Letting go enough to let healing occur while maintaining an advocate’s vigilance in the care of your own body, mind and soul. The paradox of surrendering enough to hang on is talked about. The possibility of grace, or unearned good fortune, should always be in the back of your mind as you begin to overcome, heal and recover.
- Music and Laughter: Even in the midst of heartache and difficulty, you’ve got to try and move in step with your own muse. Follow the light, as hard as it might seem right now. Develop a filter system with electronic media and ephemeral culture. Laugh at yourself.
- Friendship and faith in other human beings: Believe in the goodness of other people, particularly friends and family. Even if you’ve been let down before, give those that love you a chance to be responsible. Lean on them and assume positive intent, always. During times of great difficulty, we’re deeply connected, even in our anonymity.
- Heat and Passion: Maintain a love of living despite the current pain, doubt and fear. Try and maintain your sensual self. Recall the things you love about the world, and work toward finding them again.
It is my pleasure to recommend Stewart Francke as a speaker/leader in programs for patients and families experiencing cancer/bone marrow transplant. Over the years, Stewart has been an extremely important resource for those families undergoing a BMT. Several years ago, Stewart spoke at a major conference in New York City that the National Bone Marrow Transplant Link sponsored. He has also presented at several local conferences, and along with his music, has positively touched the lives of so many families in this country.
– Myra Jacobs
Stewart Francke is a dynamic speaker with the ability to make profound, life-changing, connections with his audiences. He’s at his best talking about the power of creativity to help cancer patients, their families and friends.
– Craig Werner, Author and Department Chair of Afro-American Studies at the University of Wisconsin.