Loyal, strong, determined, resilient, compassionate, honest, and brave. Charles Frederick Porter II was born in Oxford England to an English mother with Jewish roots and an African American father from Annapolis, Md. Charles thrived in sports as well as academia and eventually received a full athletic scholarship to Duke University. Almost a decade later, in 2010, he was diagnosed with stage IV Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. In May of 2015, he had a relapse.


Charles’ book, ‘Choose Your Path’, a collection of poems, was written during the last three to four years of being in remission and was being published two weeks after Charles received the news that his cancer had returned. His poetry reflects upon his life threatening challenges.




Throw the line, who has the time Life is like a lifeline, where’s mine

First they give you a date Then comes the rush

Some might see straight Some will hallucinate

Even if I told you You wouldn’t really understand

Each time different from the last man

Throw the line, who has the time Life is like a lifeline, where’s mine

Asking strangers what lies ahead Overwhelmed sometimes I’d rather be dead

Does your body freeze when you’re under the sun? Or are your clothes drenched in sweat, I’m starting to feel numb

Foggy, it gets its grip, stronger as the days extend I can go one more day, I see victory around the bend

Most powerful shit I’ve ever felt This is life and the hand I’ve been dealt

Couldn’t taste anything but love and light I can go one more day, I continue to fight

How many have you saved? Is there room for one more? I’m swimming my heart out; I’m coming for shore

Throw the line, who has the time Life is like a lifeline, where’s mine


Charles’ poetry will be part of our #CancerBookClub in October. Click here to learn more about our upcoming authors. Reprinted with permission of the author.


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