‘Don’t Wait for the Green Light’ is Andy Kahle’s sometimes humorous but highly emotional new book about her fight to get back on the racetrack.
The ANDRA racer and supporter of the ANDRA Member Benefits Program (through her business AndyK Design) has turned her blog – written to keep her family up to date while she was undergoing cancer treatment – into her new book, ‘Don’t Wait for the Green Light.’
“Instead of being your standard Breast Cancer survival story, this book is a collection of emotional and often humorous situations that I found myself in while I put my motor racing on hold to fight a disease that affects one in eight women,” Kahle explains.
“Everyone needs something to inspire them to keep fighting, and mine was the knowledge that I would get back in my race car.”
While superstition says that bad luck comes in threes, Andy did not allow this to sway her from her need to race down the quarter mile in Australia’s first compact car – the Holden Torana.
First, she blew up the transmission the day before she was supposed to get her racing licence, and then her husband Mick slipped in the shower and impaled himself on the tap, that very same evening.
“And if you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop…just as the racing season was coming to a close, and hubby was on the mend, I was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of breast cancer, forcing my dream on hold,” Kahle says of the devastating March 2010 diagnosis.
There is a saying in drag racing, that if you wait until you see the green light before you leave the start line, you will miss out.
“So is the case in real life. Sometimes it is better to put your foot flat to the floor and accelerate to where you want to be,” Kahle said.
While her book “Don’t Wait for the Green Light” starts with the uncertainty of a life changing diagnosis, Kahle takes this as an opportunity to look at everything with her trademark wry humour.
From situations such as the mood lighting and 70s style attire while getting a mammogram, to the nervous foot jiggling, plastic chair wobbling of her husband while she read outdated magazines in the doctors waiting room, Kahle has managed to maintain the gravity of her journey while still demonstrating the importance of enjoying every moment and focusing on her ultimate goal of racing again.
“I didn’t want this to be just another survivor story like so many other books out there,” she explains.
“My cancer story isn’t all that different to so many others. But I am. I look at life a little differently to most and find humour in the oddest of situations. This is how I wrote the blog, as it was for family and friends who knew my quirky personality … so I decided I would do the book in the same style.”
Now 51 years old, Kahle has been a regular on the Perth Motorplex drag strip ever since the completion of her cancer treatment more than ten years ago and has big plans ahead.
“Eighteen months after my diagnosis, I claimed the runners-up trophy at my very first race event complete with post-chemo curly hair and I haven’t looked back since. Now it is my turn to give back, which is why my new car which is currently in the works is a charity ride and race car,” Kahle explained.
“The new car is a Mercedes CLK 320 and has been custom built to allow me and my team to raise funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer by offering passenger rides down the drag strip…but that’s a whole other story,” she grinned.
“In the meantime, I want to say, as I do at the start of the book: thank you to everyone who helped get me here…I couldn’t have done it without the support of so many.”
‘Don’t Wait for the Green Light’ is available in paperback or e-book and there is also the option to purchase a signed copy direct from Kahle’s charity race car website, Therapy on Wheels.