Because I Knew You – Guest Post by Dr. Shay Fabbro

Today it’s my pleasure to introduce you today to Dr. Shay Fabbro. Shay and I met through our publisher and I’ve grown to love her sense of humor and fun. Shay writes imaginative and heartfelt stuff, and this real-life story is amazing.

Sometimes the things we remember about the people we love are the bad things they helped us escape. I love this warm twist on the subject that Shay decided to take.




by Dr. Shay Fabbro

When Elise first asked me to do a guest post based on this prompt, I was thrilled and more than a little intimidated. I had read through the posts on her blog by other authors and they were all so inspiring and thought provoking. It’s quite a lot of pressure and a lot to try to live up to.

It is also difficult to really nail down one person who has really impacted my life. There have been so many! Do I write about my folks and how their struggles have helped me in my own life? My sisters, whose unfailing love and support have been the rock that keeps me from getting washed away in the storm of life? My students who surprise me each every day and bless me with their curiosity and enthusiasm?

If I had to pick one I’d have to be the ultimate cheese and pick my husband.

In anatomy lab this week we are discussing the respiratory system. And of course we have to give the spiel about the smoking and exercising and keeping your lungs healthy so you can enjoy an awesome retirement. So often I see the eyes of the students roll back in their heads at hearing the same old tired thing they’ve been hearing for years. I get it, really I do. I imagine our voices do the Charlie Brown thing where the adults sound like “Whah, whah, whah.”

Then I share my story.

I smoked from the time I was 14 until I was 28. That’s 14 years spent sucking toxic smoke and chemicals into my poor delicate lung tissue, harming the cells and altering my DNA. And let me tell ya, no one could get me to quit. Not my parents, sisters, cousins, friends. No one.

Until a very special man came into my life.

He never gave me crap about smoking, never asked me not to while I was in my own home, never complained about the fact that I smelled like an old ashtray *gag*. He simply told me a story that changed my life for the better.

When Rich was 15, his father died of lung cancer…and it was years after he had quit. He had to watch his father wither and waste away, in pain each and every day. One day Rich told me that he didn’t think he could watch someone go through that again.

And with that simple sentence I found my reason to quit. It wasn’t easy. I am sure he wished I would start smoking again just so he wouldn’t have to deal with bitch lady from the nth dimension of hell anymore. I was that bad even WITH the Nicorette gum.  But he was ever the patient boyfriend, encouraging me, praising me when I would go a long period without having to use the gum, just being a firm foundation while I was going through that rough time. Before I knew it, the craving subsided and finally went away. I still have a slight addiction to gum, although I have traded in the Nicorette for Orbit. I no longer smell like an ashtray, my lungs are clear and healthy, I can Zumba and jog with the best of them.

And for this, I will be forever grateful.


Shay Fabbro was born in Longmont, CO and moved to the town of Grand Junction, CO in the early 1980′s. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mesa State College (currently called Colorado Mesa University) before earning her doctorate degree in Human Medical Genetics from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO.

Dr. Fabbro currently lives in Grand Junction with her husband, Rich, and their two cats. When not writing novels, she teaches biology classes at Colorado Mesa University. She is the author of the Portals of Destiny series and the Adventures of Alexis Davenport series. She has also been published in the military sci-fi anthology, Battlespace.


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