With a prolific career in biotechnology, serving as CEO of two companies who worked in the treatment and diagnosis of cancer, Michael Becker knew and understood cancer. It was his job. So, when he was looking in the mirror at age 47 and saw a lump in his neck that wasn’t there the day before, he knew something was wrong. After several tests and agonizing waiting periods for results, his worst fears were confirmed – he was diagnosed with stage IV oropharyngeal (head and neck) cancer in December 2015. While initial treatment appeared successful, his cancer returned in December 2016 and he was given about a year to live. What does someone do with a diagnosis like that? Everyone would react different. For Becker, he became determined to share his story of adversity and daily triumph, which is all chronicled in his new book, A Walk With Purpose: Memoir of a Bio entrepreneur. Part memoir, part fascinating look inside the biotechnology industry, A Walk With Purpose takes readers down his career path from an investment adviser to chief executive officer of an oncology-focused biotechnology company, to finally ending on the other end of the industry: a terminal cancer patient facing his own mortality. This fast-moving, fascinating and heart-wrenching memoir shows a personal account of all sides of the oncology biotech industry: from CEO to patient. Author’s note: an updated edition was uploaded on 5/22/17 with corrections.
Available on Awalkwithpurpose
“A must read especially if you or one you know has recently been diagnosed with cancer!”
Five Star Review on Amazon
A Walk With Purpose is about a young man’s search for himself, and his ultimate struggle with the review of his life in the light of cancer. While the story itself is not unique in the sense of describing his courage and struggle with cancer, it is poignant in how he paints us a picture that touches our soul. I sure that you will find many pages where they will have you looking back on your own life and reflect on similar moments. For those of you currently struggling with cancer, he provides a unique detailed path of his approach to his doctors, treatments and most importantly family!
This is an easy read, and for most people, they should be able to finish this in a day or two. It is filled with good descriptions of various cancer treatments that are explained simply for those of us that are not doctors. While I found the book hard to put down because of the story itself, I would especially recommend this book if you or someone you know has recently been diagnosed with cancer.
About the Author
Michael D. Becker, president and founder of MDB Communications LLC, has over 20 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur, C-level industry executive, pharmaceutical product developer, Wall Street securities analyst and registered financial adviser. He has authored original articles on medical, financial, communications, marketing, and regulatory topics relevant to the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries and is widely quoted by the press. He is also a Stage IV cancer survivor.
Previously, Mr. Becker served as president, chief executive officer, chief financial officer, and member of the Board of Directors for several publicly-traded biotechnology companies, including commercial-stage Cytogen Corporation (acquired by EUSA Pharma). Mr. Becker held positions of increasing responsibility prior to being appointed President and CEO of Cytogen in 2002, including Vice President of Business Development, Industry Relations, Investor Relations and Chief Executive Officer of AxCell Biosciences, a subsidiary of Cytogen focused on signal transduction pathways. During his tenure at Cytogen, Mr. Becker raised in excess of $130 million in new capital through both public offerings and private placements and in-licensed Caphosol©, a topical oral agent and prescription medical device for the treatment of oral mucositis and xerostomia.
Prior to his biotechnology industry career, Mr. Becker spent 9 years in the financial services industry, which includes positions at Wayne Hummer Investments LLC, Kidder, Peabody & Co., Gruntal & Co., and Kemper Securities where he previously held the following securities licenses: Series 7 (Registered Representative), Series 16 (Securities Analyst), Series 63 (Uniform Securities Agent) and Series 65 (Registered Investment Advisor). He was also the founder and Executive Editor of Beck on Biotech, a monthly biotechnology investment newsletter published from July 1998 through March 2001.
Mr. Becker plays an active leadership role as an advocate for the biotechnology industry. He is past Chairman and member of the board of trustees with BioNJ, which is New Jersey’s trade association for biotechnology companies, and is currently a member of BioNJ. He placed as a biotechnology/life sciences finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in both 2004 and 2005 and was listed in Business Week’s “CEO’s 40 and Under” article in December 2006. Mr. Becker has co-authored several peer-reviewed scientific publications in the areas of cellular signaling and radiopharmaceutical drug development. He completed coursework in Political Science at DePaul University and received an Associate of Science Degree from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. He is also an accomplished photographer.
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