Survivor Writes the Story of Her Life

Lottie Virnig, a current patient at the Fridley Clinic, was first diagnosed with Fallopian Tube Cancer in 2011. Following her diagnosis, Lottie began treatment for cancer with Dr. Annie Tan. Throughout Lottie’s treatments, she would tell stories about her childhood, grandparents, and her life as she grew into the person that she is today.

Lottie noticed that after telling a few stories to the nurses and staff at the clinic, she was soon getting requests to tell new stories at each treatment. Lottie recalls, “I never thought that I would get cancer, but how many times do we hear that?”

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Lottie Virnig with her life story

As Lottie continued her treatments, she realized that she had the potential to write down all of her stories for people to read.  "I just knew there were stories I needed to tell," she said. She began transferring her memories onto paper, she soon had enough stories to make a book.

Using computer and typing skills she gained during her 23 years as an administrative assistance for Anoka Ramsey Community College and Hennepin Technical College, Lottie was able to type all of her stories and get them bound them into a book. Within the time that Lottie began writing about her memories, she decided to participate in a writing group at the Coon Rapids Senior Center. From within this writing group, Lottie went on retreats with other group members and was able to expand her book with different topics of memories that were spurred by group discussions. Lottie states, “Its surprising what memories can be brought back from reading.”

Each section in Lottie’s book is about a different memory from within her life. She plans to one day publish her book or prepare her book as an online version. With two children, Lora and Jonathan, along with eight grandchildren, her book of memories will likely be passed down through generations. Lottie smiled as she said, “I’ll keep writing.”