When doctors told Candy Wood Lindley that she had six months to live, she prayed that God would allow her to see her two young children grow up. That was 1982.
Candy was diagnosed with a baseball-sized tumor in the center of her head. Eight surgeries and several years later, she was left facially disfigured but determined to make the most of what she had. In 1987, she was one of twenty-five recipients of Clairol’s national “Take Charge Award,” given to women who have overcome obstacles and turned their lives around after the age of thirty. This was awarded to her for the production of two nationally released videos, together called Let’s Face It. One dealt with makeup techniques for the facially disfigured and the other with wig and scarf applications for hair loss patients.
In 1997, she was given the Life Inspiration Award by the American Cancer Society. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons gave Candy their “Patients of Courage Award” in 2004, and she accepted the 2005 Legacy of Courage Award from Alabama’s For the Cause.
During the past two decades, Candy has been asked to speak to more than 1,000 different groups, including the Mayo Clinic Nursing Conference, the Christian Medical and Dental Associations’ national events, and American Society of Plastic Surgeons. She has spoken to many college classes, ministries, and organizations. She is at home in both corporate and faith-based groups.
A favorite at women’s retreats and youth meetings, she also has been featured on television and radio programs (both at the local and national level) including The 700 Club, Heart to Heart with Sheila Walsh, The Sally Jesse Raphael Show, The Maury Povich Show, and Mother Angelica.
Her story was told on the television program It’s a Miracle with Roma Downy. She is frequently interviewed on national radio programs, most notably Life Perspectives and Back to the Bible with Don Hawkins.
Candy is no stranger to the stage. She received a B.A. degree in Speech and Drama from the University of Alabama. She has been a performer/dancer/choreographer in numerous musical productions. Candy served as assistant director of youth programs for Red Mountain Theatre Company in Birmingham, Alabama, from 2004–2006, where she was assistant director/ choreographer for the musical Annie (2004). For twelve years, Candy was choreographer of Jefferson County, Alabama’s Junior Miss program.
Because of her performing background, Candy brings an entertaining speaking style to her listeners. As evidenced by the diverse audiences to whom she has spoken, her presentation lends itself to people of all ages,backgrounds, and circumstances.
In 1996, her husband of twenty-four years filed for divorce, giving her new challenges.
Candy is the mother of two. Elliott, a graduate of Belmont University, and his wife, Sara, also a graduate of Belmont University, and sons Nathan and Calvin live in Franklin, Tennessee. Her daughter, Colley, and her husband, Gilder Hatchett, both graduated from Auburn University and now live in Atlanta with their daughter, Mallie Tate. Colley is pursuing a master’s degree in counseling.
Candy and her husband, John Lindley, live in Knoxville, Tennessee. Formerly a member of the Briarwood Presbyterian Church PCA in Birmingham, Alabama, Candy is now a member of the Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church EPC in Knoxville.
“As Candy Wood’s medical oncologist here at the Mayo Clinic, I can document, testify, and underscore the medical veracity and reliability of Candy’s incredible story. Without any qualification or reservation whatsoever, I can document that her story is ‘one of a kind,’ not only from a medical but perhaps more importantly from a spiritual, psychological, and emotional perspective.”
"I first met Candy wood while writing When Cancer Comes for Moody press. I’ve seen her deal with multiple adversities with grace and persistence, while maintaining a strong commitment to the Lord and love for people. Candy has a message of hope, perseverance and trust, and God has given her the personality and skill to communicate it effectively."
"Candy Wood’s trauma may not be all that different from other courageous souls who have battle cancer and survived. But what makes her story so unique is a dynamic, unwavering faith in God. In this modern age when supernatural is so easily dismissed, Candy’s fascinating struggle is not just candid and heroic, but is most of all …inspiring! Her life was dramatically changed by amazing lessons of life learned through almost impossible physical agony and intense spiritual suffering."