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‘When Breath Becomes Air’ the Focus of Well-Being Talk
Dr. Lucy Kalanithi will speak on Wednesday at The Argyros. COURTESY: St. Luke's Wood River Foundation
Thursday, July 28, 2022


The New York Times bestselling memoir and Pulitzer Prize finalist “When Breath Becomes Air” will come into focus on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation will present Stanford physician Lucy Kalanithi as she discusses her late husband’s experience with Stage IV lung cancer at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, at the Argyros Performing Arts Center in Ketchum.

The presentation is part of the foundation’s annual Health and Well-being Speaker Series.


Dr. Paul Kalanithi was a Stanford neurosurgeon when he was diagnosed with cancer at 36. One day he was fighting to save people from dying. The next, he was fighting for his own life.

He documented his experience batting that cancer and facing mortality in his memoir, which was published posthumously after his death in March 2015. The book spent 68 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

His memoir tells how he found hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as he attempted to answer the question: What makes a life worth living?

“Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on,’ ” he wrote.

Dr. Jim Souza, chief physician executive of St. Luke’s Health System, will facilitate a discussion with Dr. Lucy Kalanithi, as they discuss the life lessons she learned form her dying husband and how she has moved forward to live life joyfully in the seven years since.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Lucy Kalanithi to the Wood River Valley as she shares her and her husband’s inspiring story together in both life and death,” said Megan Tanous, Chief Development Officer of the St. Luke’s Wood River Foundation.

The event is free, but an online RSVP is required at

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