Doctor Diagnosed with Cancer Wins Award for Book about Dying with Grace

Richard P. Holm, M.D. has received the Nautilus Silver Book Award in the category of Aging Consciously for his book Life’s Final Season: A Guide for Ageing and Dying with Grace. While writing the book, Dr. Holm was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.


The Nautilus award

Image Via Ian Shive Photography –


For those unaware, the Nautilus Awards has been around for twenty years. Their mission statement “is to celebrate and honor books that support conscious living & green values, high-level wellness, positive social change & social justice, and spiritual growth.”

And this year they’ve given the silver award to Dr. Holm’s book Life’s Final Season: A Guide for Aging and Dying with Grace.


Cover of "Life's Final Season"

Image Via Amazon


Dr. Holm is perhaps best known as the host for On Call with the Prairie Doc, a statewide weekly call-in show on South Dakota Public Broadcasting, but he is a medical doctor. The South Dakota University Hall of Fame notes that “[h]e has cared for people of all ages but has concentrated on the care of the elderly since this is the time of life when people more often get sick and experience their end of life.”


Dr. Richard P Holm

Image Via South Dakota Hall of Fame


A contributor to four medical text books and the written of numerous articles published in the Journal of the American Medical Association as well as several others, Dr. Holm authored the book, The Picture of Health, A View from the Prairie, a book which Amazon describes as “[a] gem of a book of personal health advice for the public, based upon the extensive primary care experience of a shrewd, wise and insightful physician”.

However, it was his newest book, Life’s Final Season: A Guide for Ageing and Dying with Grace, that got him the silver Nautilus Award.


Dr. Holm

Image Via South Dakota Humanities Council

The Brookings Register quotes Dr. Holm as saying, “My sole purpose for writing this book was to help people … the well, the sick, those who are dying and those caring for elderly persons in the final season of their lives.”

In a twist of fate, Dr. Holm, 67, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer while writing the book. The book itself details his initial battle and beating cancer with the aid of chemotherapy and surgery, however the cancer has returned.

Despite the diagnosis, Dr. Holm remains courageous. He explains the that “the intent of this book is that it be a guide to help individuals and caregivers in our quest to age and to eventually face dying with courage, grace, dignity and even enthusiasm.”



Featured Image Via South Dakota State University