Using pain for a purpose

Published 9:27 pm Thursday, September 23, 2021

A Hampton Roads native has released a new book to help people use their pain to fuel their purpose.

Eric Newman’s book “What Hope Looks Like” was released Sept. 21 and is for those looking to start a nonprofit but are not quite sure how. After years of learning the hard way, Newman wrote the book to be used as a road map.

“I wanted to give a unique perspective of taking pain that is no part my own fault and turn that into purpose,” said Newman.

Newman started his own nonprofit, Roc Solid Foundations, after years of trials and learning experiences. His nonprofit serves children diagnosed with pediatric cancer and their families. One of the nonprofit’s main goals is building playsets in the backyard of those diagnosed.

“The one thing you don’t have to teach kids is how to play, and sadly that is the first thing taken away from them,”  said Newman.

The organization also provides ready bags for families when first diagnosed. These bags have everything a family may need for an unexpected hospital stay, including toiletries, a blanket, a journal, a tablet and more. These bags are distributed to around 50 children’s hospitals across the country. These bags not only give families items they need but also let them know that someone cares.

Childhood cancer is close to Newman because he is a survivor after being diagnosed with liver cancer at age 3. He also lost two cousins to childhood cancer, and personally knows the toll this takes on families and understands what kind of support they need.

Newman wrote the book in light of his personal experiences with childhood cancer as well as a loss in the construction business in 2008 in order to create something better.

“If someone has gone through homelessness or addiction, they still have that pain and are asking why but they made it to the other side,” said Newman. “I lost everything in the construction world and didn’t have a penny, but I took that pain to fuel my purpose.”

Newman hopes that this book will inspire people to turn their pain into purpose, even if it only inspires one reader that causes a ripple effect.

The book is available at rocsolidfoundation.org and Amazon.