For Delran resident Elizabeth Crognale, sharing her story about her battle with breast cancer and how an angel came to help is something she does every chance she gets. From family events to church, Crognale tells everyone who will listen, and it’s exactly that thinking that got her story published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels All Around.”
“Chicken Soup for the Soul” is a book series of inspirational stories and motivational essays. The first book was published in 1993, and each book since has been slightly different. The “Angels all Around” edition embarked on 101 inspirational stories about miracles, divine intervention and answered prayers.
“My sister-in-law does a lot of writing for those types of publications and she has published stories before,” said Crognale. “She knew about my angel story because I had shared it with all the family at Christmas.”
Crognale’s sister knew “Chicken Soup” was looking for angels stories, and the duo worked together to submit Crognale’s tale. She was happy to know it was accepted.
“I thought it was an exciting opportunity to share the story, and I know it was very encouraging to me, so I thought it would be encouraging to someone else,” Crognale said.
Crognale’s story picks up in 2015 after being diagnosed with cancer for a third time. In 1993, Crognale was diagnosed with breast cancer, and then in 2008, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. In 2015, the breast cancer resurfaced, which led her to having a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
“That went really smooth,” Crognale said. “It was textbook.”
However, due to Crognale having scar tissue from her bout with colon cancer, harvesting her tissue for reconstruction after her double masectomy resulted in Crognale being sick and in pain.
Without wanting to go back inside and do more work, the doctors tried different things to help, however, nothing worked and they would eventually have to go back inside and remove some scar tissue. During the time that Crognale was in the hospital waiting for her next surgery, the pain and sickness were getting to her. A typically upbeat and happy person, she was very down and didn’t have much hope.
That’s when Crognale’s angel came to her aid.
“My husband kept hitting the button to call (the nurses) and no one came,” said Crognale. “That was unusual because they always came, but then this lady came in and instead of going right to the computer, she came right up to me and started talking to me and my husband.
“She kept saying you’ll be so glad you had this operation done and that it was the best decision I could have made,” Crognale continued. “She was just very encouraging. Once she left, another nurse came in and my husband asked who the nurse that just left was. The nurse in the room said that there was no one else on the floor and that everyone was helping another patient who ripped his IVs out.
“Nobody knew who the lady was and she didn’t match any description of anyone who worked there,” said Crognale, adding she and her husband decided the woman was an angel. “She was very helpful. She made a difference. After that my spirit was uplifted.”
Once Crognale was able to leave the hospital, she began researching angels. She came across a Bible verse from Psalms 91:11 that states, “For he puts his angels in charge of you to guard you in all your ways.”
For Crognale, her angel made a difference, and now she can share her story to encourage others.
For those wanting to get a copy of the book, Crognale will be holding a book signing at Calvary Church in Delran on Sunday, Sept. 15, after the first service around 10:30 a.m. Books will be available for purchase at $10 each.