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How 'The Letter' from a cancer doctor helps families with dying loved ones cope with grief

Robert and Margaret Carolla recorded a StoryCorps interview in Springfield, Mo. in May 2022.
StoryCorps
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Robert and Margaret Carolla recorded a StoryCorps interview in Springfield, Mo. in May 2022.

Dr. Bob Carolla was one of the first oncology doctors to practice in Springfield. In this StoryCorps conversation, he tells his wife, Peg Carolla, how his younger brother John's passing inspired his practice of writing letters to the loved ones of his deceased patients.

Dr. Bob Carolla eloquently takes listeners on a journey in this StoryCorps conversation, shared with his wife, Peg Carolla.

When Carolla was 11, his younger brother, John, received a serious diagnosis and died during childhood. A caring Ohio physician wrote a letter to Carolla's parents sharing how the family pulled together to care for John during his final days.

Decades later, Carolla moved to Springfield and set up one of the first oncology practices in the Ozarks.

He describes how the letter written for his parents inspired his practice of writing letters to the loved ones of his deceased patients, and how these letters carry great meaning for the families involved for many decades.