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On September 18, 2007, Randy Pausch gave a buoyant and optimistic lecture that was titled asThe Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreamsto a crowd of 400 people that included his students and colleagues. A month before he was due to give this lecture, he discovered that he had pancreatic cancer. Due to the overwhelming response that he received during this lecture, which included a standing ovation even before he started, he decided to turn the lecture into a book. The Last Lecture was designed exclusively for his children with whom he wanted to share his words of wisdom. Especially after the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer, he wanted to discuss the fabric of life that is often taken for granted by those who have the luxury of living. He penned a number of stories from his childhood and adulthood that marked the choices he made and the subsequent lessons that they contained for character building. His experience with cancer is also discussed in succinct detail in a manner that inspires confidence. His remarks involve cheerful observations about his healthy countenance despite a debilitating condition that is terminal. Pausch even goes so far as to muse on the possibility that he enjoys the opportunity that cancer has afforded him since he can now prepare his family and himself for his death. The lecture celebrates the indomitable nature of the human spirit even under the duress of a terminal illness. Pausch delivers a positive message for all the readers in this book. The Last Lecture was published and automatically received commercial acclaim as it retained its position as a bestseller for over 112 weeks. It has gone on to sell more than 5 million copies in the United States alone and there had been speculation about adapting the book into a film. Pausch declined the offer to adapt it into a movie as the lecture existed as a popular video recording on the website, YouTube.
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