Battle for Grace: A Memoir of Pain, Redemption and Impossible Love

Overview

Battle for Grace is about a seven-year-old girl who sees Funny Girl and has a dream. To act, to dance and to sing.

It's also about how she becomes a woman whose life is virtually destroyed by a crippling mystery illness and how she fights the institutions that failed her. A woman who has lived an almost impossible love story that began before her illness. Somehow she and the man who is her reason for living, her caregiver and her partner in ...

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Overview

Battle for Grace is about a seven-year-old girl who sees Funny Girl and has a dream. To act, to dance and to sing.

It's also about how she becomes a woman whose life is virtually destroyed by a crippling mystery illness and how she fights the institutions that failed her. A woman who has lived an almost impossible love story that began before her illness. Somehow she and the man who is her reason for living, her caregiver and her partner in life have managed to stick together for more than thirty difficult years.

Battle for Grace tells how she reinvents herself and turns tragedy into triumph for millions of women worldwide. At the same time, she transforms her life into something more beautiful and meaningful than her original dreams of stardom.

Ballerina Cynthia Toussaint's promising career ended abruptly when a rehearsal injury that caused excruciating pain remained undiagnosed for thirteen years. This left her bedridden for a decade, unable to speak for five of those years and often reduced to uncontrolled violence. Throughout all of this, Toussaint's claims of pain were discounted by her HMO as being all in her head-a frequent occurrence with women and their doctors.

Many people with her illness-sometimes called the Suicide Disease-take their lives instead of contending with the pain. Toussaint's story is about her refusal to be a victim. She not only fought to survive, she has taken on the role of activist and aggressively challenges the HMOs and pharmaceutical companies that put profit ahead of patient care. Wheelchair bound, she founded a nonprofit and entered the political arena as an advocate for women in pain.

Toussaint's memoir takes the reader on the roller coaster life of a woman who sees every no as a future yes. Despite pain, setbacks, abuse and betrayal, she holds her ground, finding in the process the spotlight she'd always coveted. And a deeper meaning in life than she ever expected.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781482592047
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Publication date: 3/14/2013
  • Pages: 306
  • Sales rank: 801,071
  • Product dimensions: 5.25 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Cynthia Toussaint founded the organization For Grace in 2002 to raise awareness about the chronic pain disease Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and five years later expanded the organization's mission to ensure the ethical and equal treatment of all women in pain. She currently serves as spokesperson, and has had CRPS for 30 years. Before becoming ill, she was an accomplished ballerina and worked professionally as a dancer, actor and singer.

Since 1997, Toussaint has been a leading advocate for women in pain, raising awareness through local, national and worldwide media as well as public speaking. Toussaint championed and gave key testimony at two California Senate informational hearings. The first, in 2001, was dedicated to CRPS awareness, and the second, in 2004, explored the under-treatment of chronic pain and gender bias toward women in pain. Both of these efforts were the first of their kind in the nation.

Toussaint has been featured on The Discovery Channel, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, PBS, Discovery Health, The Learning Channel, AARP The Magazine, Newsweek, Woman's Day and The New York Times, among others. She is a consultant for The Discovery Channel, ABC News, FOX News, the National Pain Report and PainPathways, the official magazine of the World Institute of Pain.

In 2006, Toussaint ran for the California State Assembly to bring attention to her CRPS Education Bill that Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed. Her current Step Therapy bill will reform an unethical prescription practice used by the health insurance industry to save money in a way that increases the suffering of California pain patients.

Toussaint is currently experiencing her second partial CRPS remission (first in 27 years!) However, in 2011, she sustained a broken right elbow at the hands of an overly aggressive physical therapist, leading to a year of misdiagnosis, harmful therapies and a potential surgery. Her interest in upgrading healthcare in America will continue to be a focus for her and For Grace in the future.

Cynthia currently resides in Los Angeles with her life-partner John Garrett and their two Siamese rescue cats, Zanzibar Stone and Haydée Grace.

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