The year was 1981. Scott and Nancy Holland moved their young family, with their brand new son, Adam, to plant their roots and build their lives here in the yet unfounded Santa Clarita. Adam eventually graduated from Saugus High School and earned an undergraduate degree, a teaching credential, and a graduate degree from The Master’s College. With his love of history and people, Adam currently teaches history at West Ranch High School. Teaching, he says, “is an opportunity to give back to the community that gave so much to me.”
In our good, but everyday town, “Ordinary lives can sometimes turn and take on extraordinary destinies.” Cancer was Adam’s “extraordinary destiny.”
It began in 2013 when Adam was having déjà vu-like experiences in the middle of the night. After the New Year in 2014, Adam woke up on the floor of his bedroom with a black eye, slightly bruised face, and everything from the nightstand on the floor. The mystery of his health heightened. After going partially blind while teaching one day in February, Adam decided to go to the doctor.
Adam went through a variety of medical exams to solve the mystery. Everything looked great, until the MRI of his brain. The MRI detected a brain tumor. The day he was informed of the brain tumor, Adam and his family met with Dr. Mark Liker, a neurosurgeon based here in Santa Clarita. Thinking it was benign, Dr. Liker prescribed another MRI to focus on the tumor itself.
That next week, Adam was diagnosed with cancer. Shock set in for the Hollands.
Over the next weeks and months, Adam would undergo a lung biopsy (with a collapsed lung) for a mass discovered in his right lung, then brain surgery at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital to biopsy the brain tumor. The cancer proved difficult to diagnose. The only option was to have the tumor removed for a full diagnosis. Dr. Liker and his and Henry Mayo’s teams took it out with great skill and success. It was an exciting night in the ICU, but the road would get harder.
That fall, Adam underwent six weeks of daily radiation and chemo, right here in Santa Clarita. Through it all, Adam continued to teach because he’s committed to his students, no matter what.
The question for Adam in his cancer was not “Why?” but “Why not?” As a Christ-follower, Adam realized this journey was beyond himself. It truly was a journey for all who would come along for the ride.
It sounds strange, but the cancer became a gift of life for Adam.
As Adam began a longer than anticipated recovery in 2015, he began to write out his thoughts on the cancer, surgeries, treatment and overall journey using the Bible and various quotes as inspiration. Out of this came his book, “Anchored in the Storm.” A work of love of over 160 passages designed as encouragement for those suffering and going through hard times.
In life, we will all face difficult times; it may be as small as a bad day, or as big as the death of a loved one, or cancer. The afflictions of this life take on many forms, and Adam’s book is
meant, not for any specific trial, but for all the hard journeys we may face and the people who walk through them with us.
“Anchored in the Storm” is available as a paperback at Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. Amazon also offers the book for Kindle and Kindle Unlimited. You can follow Adam on Facebook at “anchoredinthestorm” and on Instagram at “_anchoredinthestorm_”.
Take courage, my friend, you do not walk alone in this journey of life.