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'How Cancer Cured Me:' Former Fayetteville pastor writes to help others


Prior to cancer, I had no idea what it really meant to have to be patient. All my previous experiences with patience had been like playing Little League. Cancer had bumped me up to the big leagues. Now I had to be patient every day and much more was at stake. Cancer revealed my impatience not just with the disease, but with everything and everyone.” - David Gira, in “How Cancer Cured Me.”

When David Gira was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in the form of a golf ball-sized tumor in September of 2017, he was shocked, saddened and scared. In his upcoming book, “How Cancer Cured Me,” he writes that he was also transformed in ways he couldn’t have predicted.

“From bandages to bills to chemo to fatigue,” he said, “what I was seeing from cancer is that God was using it all for my good and for his glory.”

Gira, 48, was senior pastor at Orange United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill when he was diagnosed. He and his wife, Amy, and children Marcie, Hannah and Caleb made lasting memories and lifelong friends during the time he served as associate pastor at Fayetteville’s Haymount United Methodist Church from 2005 to 2013.

“The people and time I spent in Fayetteville shaped who I am,” Gira said. “I’m grateful for the time I spent there.”

His book, which is scheduled for release on Aug. 25, is available for pre-order online at the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites. The book is the result of the fears and frustrations he felt when he was first diagnosed and throughout his treatment. And, finally, the book is the result of the faith that carried him through. In 2019, doctors informed him he was cancer-free. He coped in part by keeping a journal that amounted to reams of therapy on paper. His hope is that his thoughts will help others.

“It hasn’t been easy,” he said. “The challenges come through in the book. But I came to the life-changing vision that that everything we go through in the world can be used by God. Nothing’s wasted. God can take whatever we’re going through and use it for good. We all have something we’re carrying. We all have our cancer.”

Left to right, Amy, David, Caleb, Marcie and Hannah Gira.