CEDAR FALLS — Dave Welter never aspired to be a writer.
He was an educator who helped develop young minds. He was a baseball coach who taught the game he loved.
Then in 2009, Welter was diagnosed with throat cancer.
“It was a real shocker,” Welter said.
One of Welter’s coping mechanisms for dealing with the diagnosis was writing a blog and sharing his journey, his concerns, his experience and providing encouragement to those who may be on the same journey.
“It was definitely one way I dealt with the cancer diagnosis,” said Welter, who retired from Holmes Junior High School as principal in 2016 after spending 37 years in the Cedar Falls Community School system.
Welter, who has remained cancer-free since completing a two-month course of radiation and chemotherapy in May 2009. shared his blog. To his surprise, he found what he wrote helped others in similar situations.
“Everybody needs encouragement, including myself, and that I found was especially true in my cancer journey,” Welter said. “It was a way to share experiences and to provide comfort, strength and hope to others who were having the same journey I had.
“I can’t tell you how many times people reached out to me about the blog saying how much my words meant to them. It definitely took me by surprise.”
The response he got from his blog and how his words provided comfort and strength led Welter, the former Cedar Falls head baseball coach for nearly two decades starting in 1979, to expand from a blog to a book.
Published in June and now available on Amazon and the Barnes and Noble website, “Reflections from the Home Team — Go the Distance” expands on his blog.
Using baseball terminology, each of the 43 chapters or “reflections” in the book offer three things — encouragement, spiritual insight and steps to consider — while Welter shares his story of pain and the challenges of going through the cancer process.
“I used baseball terms in the process because baseball knowledge is universal,” said Welter, who continues to serve as a scout for the Atlanta Braves. “You need strength and courage to fight this disease and I hope thise= book provides that.”
The book also can be found on www.reflectionsfromthehometeam.com/