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Friday, May 4, 2012

Book Feature and Giveaway: I Want To Help: My Story About Cancer, Depression, and God

Tom Laresca lives in New York with his wife and three children. Currently working as a foreign stock trader, he attended college at St. John’s University. Laresca enjoys playing sports and weightlifting.
I Want to Help: My Story About Cancer, Depression and God is his first book.
You can visit his website at


Tom Laresca lived an average life in a quiet American town: a good job as a stock trader, a wife, a family, a beautiful home. Then in 2001, his life changed.

While living in Boca Raton, Florida, Laresca explains, “I was wrongly arrested and abused by the police. I had been an athlete in high school and college, and had never been in trouble with the law before or since in my professional career as a stock trader. I was put into intensive care, due mainly to being maced for thirty minutes while being pinned down, handcuffed and hogtied. These events all happened in front of my own home in an exclusive gated community.”

Following the assault, Laresca says his main focus was to get the charges against him dropped. “For years, I spent time and money on lawyers to make this happen. The police wanted me to sign a pre-trial intervention (PTI) document, which would make the charges go away but with me assuming part of the guilt. But I didn’t want to do that; I wanted them to admit what they did. I spent years fighting the PTI.  Even though the charges finally went away, I never found out what happened, and the police were never questioned or investigated. This all took lots of time and money, and I had to miss work.”

During this period, Laresca was diagnosed with cancer in three parts of his body and faced the grim possibility that he might only have three months to live. After his treatment and recovery, he then fought a battle with depression.

“Something told me to write about it.” he says. “I wrote the book in one night, sent it out to publishers, and went with the first publisher who answered.”

The book, I WANT TO HELP: MY STORY ABOUT CANCER, DEPRESSION, AND GOD, is a tiny book which, as Laresca says, “is written with the sole purpose of helping others overcome any struggles they may be going through. Not that everyone will go through something as severe as I did, but I believe that most people at some time are struggling with something.”

“The book begins with me learning I had been diagnosed with cancer in three parts of my body. I recount what it felt like to receive the news from my doctor, coupled with the grim possibility that I may have three months to live. I talk about my hospital stay, my fight to stay healthy, both physically and mentally, but most of all spiritually.

“Next, I tell of going through chemotherapy treatments and on to recovery, only to be brought down by what I can only say was crippling depression. I go on to thank God for getting me through all this. Because the truth is that God brought me through it all, and He is waiting to help you with anything you are going through.”

Laresca remembers that as a child, he read Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking. “There were two things that stuck with me: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,’ and ‘If God is for us, who can be against us?’ Those helped me through everything, and I use this [philosophy] every day.”

At twenty pages, I WANT TO HELP: MY STORY ABOUT CANCER, DEPRESSION, AND GOD is so short, Laresca says, because he worked long hours, had three kids, and not a lot of time. Still, he adds, people who have read it tell him that it’s helped them in some way, and that he’s heard that grownups have given the book to their children.

These days, Tom Laresca is much more relaxed, especially now that he’s written the book. “If reading it can help just one person,” he says, “I’ll be happy.”

My Death

The final part of my book I believe is incredible but true. It deals with death, my death. What makes it even more incredible is that it came at the hands of the police right in front of my own home. I have 3500 dollars worth of intensive care bills from that night and I also took a lie detector test to help prove what I say is true. I had owned a home in a wealthy development in Boca Raton Florida. I moved back to New York for six months where I have lived most of my life to start a charity for single moms. I was doing it with Leonard Marshall form the New York Giants and Vice President of the NFL Lem Burnham. When I returned to my home in Florida I was unaware that there had been an armed burglar in our development and police were hired to stay there to find him.
On the night of the incident I went out my backyard which was situated on the golf course I went for a little run and as I returned to my home five police officers came running down my block and shouted at me to stop. I had no idea what they were doing there but I immediately stopped. They ordered me on my hands and knees I was completely confused there had never been police officers in our development we had our own security Wackenhut. I saw one of our security guards and I told him to tell the police that I lived here. I was approximately 10 feet from my front lawn, the lights in my house were all on and I pointed to my house and told the officer I live here. He shouted again for me to get on my hands and knees you see they thought they had the burglar and I had no idea what was going on. Before I knew anything else I was pepper sprayed my face felt as though it were on fire soon after an officer from behind me stripped down my shorts. I was now naked in front of my own home with my face burning like mad. Now the officer pulled his gun on me and pointed it directly at my chest and said “I’ll shoot” I said go ahead. At this point I had had enough he said it again  “I’ll shoot” and put the gun closer to my chest, so not knowing if he would or not I pushed his gun down. I know in retrospect it wasn’t the brightest thing to do but how would you feel if this happened to you right in front of your own home?
I put my hands behind my back and they put handcuffs on me. The officer then ordered the security guard to go behind the building and said he would take care of this. They placed me in the street and laid on top of me I figured he was now going to get even for making him look foolish again I know pushing his gun down wasn’t the wisest thing to do put I had no idea they would take the punishment to the extent to which they did. They began pepper spraying me nonstop for what seemed 20 minutes, I have the security guard Santiago Diaz sworn testimony stating he heard me screaming “You’re killing me” and “I can’t breathe” for what he said was a half an hour. After awhile of them pepper spraying me I could barely breathe my lunges weren’t getting any oxygen I turned to the officer and asked are you trying to kill me? He responded “yes”.
I realized then he wanted me dead and buried along with the embarrassing part of me getting his gun down. I felt I only had a few breaths left and I knew he was for real he wanted me dead so I decided to take as a deep a breath as I could get and hold it put my head down and pretend to be dead so they would get off me. I did it and it worked but as he rose from my body and thought I was dead this horrible man patted my shoulder and said “good”. I felt the blood boil inside me and couldn’t control my mouth to which I said ah you a#%hole you can’t kill me. I was wrong as he got back down on me and began pepper spraying me again till I could no longer breathe. I remember dying and what death was like I also remember coming back to life. I am sure that that officer checked to make sure I was dead this time only to be sure he wouldn’t be made a fool of again. What I say is the truth and I am offering the proceeds from my book as a reward if that officer Sergeant Klaus will take and pass a lie detector test about that night. So please help me prove the truth that I was dead thank you.

1. Leave a comment about this guest post OR why you would like this book.

2.  For an extra entry, become a follower on any media (GFC, Twitter @MSEREADS, Facebook fanpage: , Goodreads or Linky - links on right sidebar) or tell me if you are already a follower.

It isn't necessary to use separate entries unless you want them in different chronological order.
(Two total entries possible.)

* This contest is open US and Canada only.
* This contest will close 10 PM (Central) on May 11, 2012.
The winner will be randomly selected from all entries and announced on May 12 with 72 hours to complete the winners' form.


  1. I would like to read this book because it sounds very inspirational.

    I follow via email.

    Thanks for the giveaway.


  2. Thomas, I look forward to winning "I Want To Help".
    I'm happy to see you found a small way to out all that hurt and the wrong done to you.Reading what they did to you has me actually vibrating about the wrongness and evil. I have a family member who went through something involving Police brutality but nothing as severe as you have. I pray that justice of some form will bring this person to face his crime. Congratulations on your remission. I have a 24 year old daughter is going on 15 years of remission from Osteo Sarcoma (bone cancer). She has suffered tremendous depression from her year of hospitalization to receive her chemo therapy.
    Carol L.

  3. I would like to win this book because it seems like an inspirational story and I would like to share it with a friend of mine who would enjoy it as well.

    katja9_10 at hotmail dot com


Your comments are always appreciated!


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