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Healing Hearts, Touching Lives

Dr. David Calandra was a man who made an impact on countless hearts. As a cardiothoracic surgeon at Adventist Hinsdale Hospital, his surgeries mended the hearts of his patients. As a man committed to Christ, his faith touched the hearts of everyone around him.

"He was a surgeon who really understood our mission of Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ," says John Rapp, regional vice president for ministries and mission at Adventist Midwest Health. "He believed it, he felt it, and he lived it. And that example was so powerful that it just affected everybody."

Every day on the job, David demonstrated an unyielding drive and commitment to each of his patients, regardless of how difficult their case was. Even when faced with his own battles, he never stopped caring for those around him.

On February 14th, 2007, David was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. For 16 months, David fought his battle with cancer surrounded by the love and support of his family. During this time he devotedly blogged his journey on Caring Bridge — a website designed to connect loved ones during illness — sharing with others his faith in the Lord.

"One day I particularly remember," Marcie says, "he had bright-red chemo flowing into his veins that was too dangerous to touch with human hands. And at that very moment, he opened up his laptop and began writing on Caring Bridge; teaching and preaching and sharing his faith, so those who will read it might experience the awesome faith that he had, even in the midst of the drama that he was experiencing."

On May 5th, 2008 David passed away. Marcie and her daughters were left to face life without him. They soon realized they didn't have to...