Thrive by IU Health

December 09, 2021

The doctor who wrote a book

IU Health Arnett Hospital

The doctor who wrote a book

By night, Ryan Deweese, MD, works as a hospitalist at IU Health Arnett Hospital. In his free time, he likes to explore his creative writing side. In an attempt to raise money for pediatric cancer research he recently completed a novel about a doctor who befriends a 9-year-old cancer patient Emily and her guardian Tiffany. The trio embark on an epic journey to find a hidden treasure to pay for the expensive experimental treatment that may save Emily’s life. Deweese describes Where Rainbows Never Die as a wild ride through his imagination full of comedy, tragedy, and hope.

Ryan Deweese

“In healthcare, our jobs can unintentionally become dehumanizing. We are here to save people and make them better. When that doesn’t happen, it’s easy to suffer some moral injury,” explains Deweese. “Sometimes we need to stop, refocus, and remember why we do what we do. I try to remind us of that through the book.”

Deweese became a doctor to help people. Growing up in his father’s pharmacy, he did not like counting pills or mixing medicine. He did like interacting with the customers and learning their stories while taking their blood pressure. He went on to train in family medicine but as a hospitalist, he currently sees more adults than children.

Deweese said he wrote the book because he wanted to share something that could make the world a better place. “Finding hope when there is none.” The main character, Emily is full of hope despite her diagnosis. He is also proud of the strong female characters he created and hopes they inspire young readers.

Deweese has been working on the book for the past four years. He says the hardest part was not having a mentor for encouragement and to help him with the ins and outs of the publishing world. Occasionally doubtful if the project would ever see completion, and sometimes discouraged, he still pressed on and eventually the book was published.

Deweese started the book prior to the COVID-19 pandemic but found working on it therapeutic after working long nights treating patients. His passion for writing started in college with a couple of creative writing classes. His uncle, who drives a gas truck by day, and writes poems by night, wrote the poem in the book that supposedly leads to the treasure.

“My uncle told me he was proud of me when I became a doctor, but he said this book is the greatest accomplishment of my life,” added Deweese.

Deweese did not let anyone read the book, including his wife, until it was complete. So far, the feedback has been terrific. “I list the book as young adult, but it’s kind of Harry Potter young adult. There are some adult themes. I did let my 11-year-old daughter read it though and she did well with it.” She loved the book and was happy to provide the forward. His son provided one as well.

Will there be another book? Time will tell. Deweese likes to read the positive Amazon reviews. If the bad ones ever begin, he will let his wife take over reading them and he will go get lost in a book or a game of golf, he says.

Deweese wrote the book in honor of Caroline Symmes and her parents. Deweese is friends with David and Libby Symmes and remembers well the loss of Caroline at the age of 5 from pediatric cancer. Half of the proceeds from the book will be donated to pediatric cancer research through the Caroline Symmes Children’s Cancer Endowment. Where Rainbows Never Die is available on Amazon. You can learn more about the Children’s Cancer Endowment at carolinesymmes.org.

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