Amy Ettinger’s terminal cancer diagnosis is gut-wrenching news for Santa Cruz’s literary community
In a personal essay in the Washington Post, longtime Santa Cruz journalist and author Amy Ettinger, 49, revealed her terminal cancer diagnosis. It’s “one of the bravest and most forthright things I’ve ever read about the experience of facing death at a young age,” Wallace Baine writes.
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Last Sunday delivered a shocking and deeply heartbreaking piece from the Washington Post. That’s not unheard of, exactly, given the times we live in. But for anyone who is part of the Santa Cruz literary community, this one landed differently. This one was painful.
It was a personal essay from the gifted Santa Cruz journalist and author Amy Ettinger, and it had some terrible news to impart. At 49, Amy is facing a terminal cancer diagnosis and probably has just a few months to live. For many who know and love her, it’s staggering, gut-wrenching news.
I’ve known Amy and her husband, the journalist and writer Dan White, for years, and in fact worked with both in the Santa Cruz Sentinel newsroom a lifetime ago. Dan and I shared a writers group for many years. Though they have both dealt with tragedy in their lives, I’ve known them both to be kind, funny, free-spirited people and devoted parents to their daughter, Julianna.
Amy’s Post piece will likely remain one of the bravest and most forthright things I’ve ever read about the experience of facing death at a young age. It’s a frightening thing to have to reflect on your life knowing the credits are about to roll, but Amy does it with a kind of grace I find breathtaking.
Her friends and family are helping her measure out the sweetness of the days she has left. But even if you don’t know her or have ever heard of her, her piece is a thing of terrible beauty. Spend some time with it, and carry it — and her — in your heart.