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Saturday, August 28, 2010

How chess helped one woman get over cancer, son's death

Daffney McMahan Griffith with her daughter Charmaine.

Hello Everyone,

Here is a very nice true story about a lady - Daffney McMahan Griffith - from a small town in Southern Oregon. She talks about chess and how she survived cancer and her child's death with it. It's a very touching story of family bonding with chess.

She writes: "Irony. For nine long years, we tried to become a family of more than just two. We wanted a large family to raise and with whom we could share and learn new things. We got that. Three wonderful children all entered our lives on the same day. Eight years later, it is very odd to think that through all of the tough times, it has been a two-player game that has been the silvery thread that is interwoven in our lives. Chess.

"When things would be hard to deal with, it seems that we have chosen chess to occupy our thoughts. I am a terrible player. I am learning all over again now. My teacher is my youngest child and her aide in my training is my eldest. I would like to share the details of our ironic journey and how it has led us to my chess training."

"In December of 2007, I was rushed to the emergency room and told that I was having a miscarriage. That would have been awful. The real issue was that I knew that I was not pregnant. Many tests and appointments later, it was discovered that I had cancer."

"Now, once again, back to chess. I was just two days past surgery, when Margee marched into my room with a dollar store chess set. She plunked it down on the hospital tray without a word. She set it up and pulled up a chair and asked if I preferred black or white. I asked her why were playing this and her response was, “I am tired of feeling helpless. This is the best way to keep your mind off of being in here. You can’t think of anything else if you want to win.” So, we began."

You can read the full story here.

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