Chasing Life The Book Robert Pardi Author
Chasing Life The Book Robert Pardi Available on Amazon

Chasing Life

The remarkable true story about love, joy, and achievement against all odds.

By Robert Pardi and Phyllis Melhado

“You are about to read a love story, a story of triumph, a story of drive, passion, compassion and about a courageous fight in the face of adversity. I came to know Dr. Desiree Pardi as someone who was always chasing her dream; she did not just pursue the dream in order to catch up; she caught up with her dream, outsmarted that dream and pursued another, and another, and another. Chasing Life is the perfect title for this labor of love, a portrait of an incredible young woman pursuing her passion, surpassing every expectation and then moving forward again until she could go no further because of a devastating and aggressive disease. But anyone who met Desiree casually would never have known any of that. Her cheerful countenance, her enthusiasm, her bright smile never betrayed the battle she was fighting or her drive to satisfy her curiosity, create new scientific knowledge or take exceptional care of her patients.”

Excerpted from the foreword by Suzanne Rose, MD, MSEd, Senior Vice Dean for Medical Education, Perelman School of Medicine, The University of Pennsylvania

Desiree met Robert on her very first day of college. She was just 17 but knew with great certainty that she wanted to study medicine and go on to be a practicing physician. She also knew with the same certainty the moment she spotted Robert that he was the man for her. It was the proverbial love at first sight.

While certainly intrigued, it took Robert just a few weeks of spending time with Desiree, experiencing her brilliant mind, fearlessness, curious nature and sense of adventure to capture his heart. The fact that she was drop dead gorgeous only sealed the deal. They were married four years later.

They were an attractive, enviable New York couple – Robert climbing the ranks in Investment Banking and Desiree excelling in the MD/PhD program at Mount Sinai New York. Yet, shortly after Robert was recruited by one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, their world was shaken to its very core. Desiree, having just turned 31, was diagnosed with late-stage breast cancer.

Desiree immediately made a decision that would not only define how she handled her own illness but would set her on the path to practice and teach palliative care. She asked Robert to take charge of her medical care, which invested him with enormous responsibility and caused him to pull back from his own promising career. He graciously took on the role of being her surrogate, living the disease that was not his, but living it as if it were so he could carry out her wishes. This decision, while bringing them even closer and taking their partnership to a level neither could ever have imagined when they met on Desiree’s first day at Stony Brook University, also slowly shifted Robert’s role from husband and investment banker to full-time caregiver during her 11-year journey with cancer.

Despite everything, they thrived by learning to live in the moment. Regardless of the many years of extensive chemotherapy, numerous hospitalizations, several surgical procedures, as well as a stem cell transplant, Desiree Pardi, MD/PhD, at 39 years old, was appointed Assistant Professor of Medicine and Founding Director of the new Palliative Care Program at New York Presbyterian Hospital/ Weill Cornell Medical College - a singular achievement for a physician so young, and one made all the more remarkable because of the cancer with which never stopped spreading.

Rob’s sacrifice allowed his wife to live her life the way she wanted and approach death as she needed. She became his purpose. Desiree and Rob's personal story will inspire many and shine a light on how even in the most difficult circumstances, one can still find joy, and learn to cherish every day of the beautiful gift that is life.

This is a story of the evolution of one person and the awakening of another. Chasing Life is a story of love, joy, resilience, and extraordinary achievements against all odds. It’s about a couple uniting to rise above complacency and adversity to live a joyful life congruent with beliefs, passions, and values. It highlights the need to live life in the present moment. It's about learning to savor life while we are alive.

Chasing Life The Book Robert Pardi Author Available on Amazon
Chasing Life The Book Robert Pardi Author

Praise for Chasing Life

“Cancer and death have a unique way of getting our attention. As a hospice physician, many of my patients used to tell me they became 'alive' only after facing cancer and death ... and some regretted all of the years and decades they spent 'sleep-walking.' Desiree and Rob in this book share what it means to live fully aware, awake, and alive. If you want to live an abundant life - one that is fully woke - this book will grab, surprise, inspire, break, and renew you because everything you heard before is probably wrong. The abundant life is not about fame, money, and personal success.” - James A. Avery, MD, Visiting Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Virginia

“Chasing Life is a love story, an ode to a brilliant doctor whose own illness shaped a legacy of patient care that I have surely benefited from in my own cancer journey. This memoir proves that luck goes beyond issues of mortality - that the greater gift is to be lucky in love.” - Leslie Lehr, Author of A Boob's Life: How America's Obsession Shaped Me…and You….and breast cancer survivor

"Love, we learn is not always about a fairy tale with happy endings. It's a tale of two people who in sharing their deepest vulnerabilities, discover each other and themselves wholeheartedly. In this vivid retelling of his 11 years caring for his wife, Robert challenges the reader to ask themselves essential life questions about how adversity calls on us to rise-up and embrace our fuller humanity. This is a story of love in its most transformative expression." - Mark Stolow, CEO, Huddol Journeys

“Chasing Life tells the story of two extraordinary people who, together, faced one of life’s greatest challenges with grace. Robert Pardi shares his journey with his wife Dr. Desiree Pardi during which he was her warrior while she battled cancer. The lessons that Desiree learned from being both cancer patient and palliative care physician, and the many examples of Robert’s path to resilience, are invaluable and should be shared with everyone. As if that isn’t enough, this story is about much more; it is about great love. Robert and Desiree lived that love to the end, and by doing so set not only the example but also the bar for all us.” - Trish Humenansky-Laub, Founder of Comfort in Their Journey LLC and Author of the Comfort in Their Journey Book Series

Chasing Life The Book Robert Pardi Life Coach, Author, and Guest Speaker

Robert Pardi

Robert Pardi has an MBA in finance from Columbia University and has held various positions in the international arena, including the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, Dubai-based Evolvence Capital, and the Swiss School of Management. Well-known in the palliative care community, he is a compelling speaker and has addressed key groups of physicians, nurses, palliative care specialists, hospital administrators, and medical students at Columbia Presbyterian Weill Cornell, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and Stony Brook University. After losing his wife to breast cancer, Mr. Pardi re-assessed his life and decided to share the many lessons he learned by becoming a Certified Life Coach. He is also an International Guest Speaker on a range of topics from Leadership to Patient Choice as well as an adjunct professor He splits his time between his native New York and Pacentro, Italy. Read more about Robert’s work at and his other books A Pimby Tale - A Modern Day Fable for Everyone at, and Possibility in Action - A Journey to an Intentional Life at

Chasing Life The Book Robert Pardi and Phyllis Melhado

Phyllis Melhado

Phyllis Melhado holds a master’s degree in Communications from New York University. The author of The Spa At Lavender Lane, a 2020 American Fiction Awards Finalist, she has been published in Town & Country, Cosmopolitan and The Scarlet Leaf Literary Review. She has read her work at the legendary NYC Red Room Literary Salon and was the ghost writer of a best-selling health and beauty book as well as a nationally syndicated column. Ms. Melhado is the former Vice President of Public Relations for the Estee Lauder Companies. Read more about Phyllis’s work at