Beyond Breathing

Beyond Breathing

4.8 30
by Margarete Cassalina

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Beyond Breathing is a story of a mother's loss of her 13 year old daughter, Jena, to Cystic Fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease. Her journey takes you from unfathomable heartache to love and understanding of life's realities.

Through her journey she learns that life lessons come from her children and the beauty of living and the power of love.

In the span of one


Beyond Breathing is a story of a mother's loss of her 13 year old daughter, Jena, to Cystic Fibrosis, a fatal genetic disease. Her journey takes you from unfathomable heartache to love and understanding of life's realities.

Through her journey she learns that life lessons come from her children and the beauty of living and the power of love.

In the span of one year she learns to go from depression and dependency to inner strength and the realization that love never ends and that there are no coincidences. That she is beyond just breathing.

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iUniverse, Incorporated
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5.90(w) x 8.70(h) x 0.40(d)

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Beyond Breathing 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Dar_WilliamsDW More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderfully written. The emotion and feeling that the reader gets is overwhelming. I read 1/2 of the book in one night and quickly finished two days later. I could have stayed up and read the entire book in one sitting, however, it's very real and emotional, and I didn't want to take it in in one sitting - such a powerful and moving tribute to the author's daughter, Jena.
I highly recommend this book to everyone. As a mother myself, I cannot imagine the depth of pain and the emotional rollercoaster than Margarete Cassalina has traveled on.
This book is a very well written, emotional, and moving story about losing someone so precious. I urge everyone to read this book and hug your children tonight - and every night - for you are blessed for being able to do so.
Jena Cassalina was an inspiring and amazing girl who touched thousands of lives. I know she has touched mine.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down once I started reading it. I felt like I knew this family personally as I read the story of Jena's life and her battle with cystic fibrosis. Margarete shares the good, the bad and the ugly in this book - and I applaud her honesty! I have passed this book to many friends who agree that this is a story that will stay with you. I pray for Eric and a cure for cystic fibrosis. I also pray for all who suffer from this horrible disease. A cure cannot come soon enough.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a beautifully written story, a mother and family's love for two very gifted, loving, giving children. We all wonder if we would have the strength to live through what they have and continue to endure. A true expression of love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beyond Breathing is not a book only for those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, but for all of us that are in need of a reality check. It teaches and reminds us of what is truly important in life. I cried, I laughed, and in the end I felt uplifted. I read this book in one day and I now keep it on my nightstand as a reminder each night and each morning of what life is all about.
Dadamo More than 1 year ago
After you read the first few pages of this book, you will want to cancel any appointments you have for the rest of the day. Margarete Cassalina has an excellent ability at capturing the attention of her reader. She bares her soul and shares intimate details of the daily struggles they have encountered with this dreaded disease. She uses imagery and figurative language to enhance the reader's understanding of her story. Not only did I enjoy reading this book, I also learned many important lessons. Probably one of the most important lessons I learned from Margarete is how important it is to live everyday to the fullest without regrets. The Cassalina's are an incredibly strong family, they continue to light the way and give hope and direction to all, especially those who feel like they are in the most hopeless situation. I hope Margarete's mission is fulfilled and CF will stand for Cure Found. This is a very powerful book and I highly recomend it.
D'Adamo Family
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
it is such a good book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
inspired_parent More than 1 year ago
This is a must read. This is a story of a young girl with a terminal illness and her family. The story tells us all how they chose to live and inspire us all. The story is not about how she died, but how she lived life everyday to the fullest. It shares the raw heart break of a mother and the good humor that her daughter brought to life. This is a very quick read, yet it was one of the most inspiring books that I have ever read. It is great a great book for book clubs because there is so much to talk about. I have asked my book club to read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MBNY More than 1 year ago
Margarete Cassalina not only writes this beautiful book about her family and cystic fibrosis but also brings insipration to your life. This book is a touching real life story about a remarkable young woman named Jena and her unbelievably strong mother. Cassalina is an extraordinary writer and hooks you in within seconds. You won't be able to put it down. This book brings tears and heartache but most importantly shows the true meaning of love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great book. I could not put it down once I picked it up. I laughed and cried as I read it. It was very well written and really makes you appreciate life. Thank you Margarete for sharing Jena's story! She was an amazing little girl!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What an oustanding book!!! Very well written and very, very inspirational to read!
Bishop_Dunn More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing book that would be an inspiration to all. Even if you havent experienced CF first hand, you will still see your everyday life trials in this family's struggles, happiness, sadness, and successes. This book illustrates to everyone how strong just one young girl can be when faced with impossible chances. Everyone will find that they can relate to this book on some level. I have been working at Jena's school for many years, and her presence is still strong in everything that is done. Jena was an amazing girl, and I am glad that her mother was given the opportunity to share their story with the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a very personal true story of a mother dealing with her daughter's illness and making sure her daughter gets to live her life to the fullest. I found this book to be inspiring. It was very emotional and I admired her daughters strength in dealing with her situation. Even though she was a child, everyone who came in contact with her walked away remember a brave, mature, strong willed person who truly LIVED with CF.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tara-F-06878 More than 1 year ago
As a mother, this is such a hard subject to think about. Even though I cried my eyes out, I felt inspired by Margarete's ability to take a painful situation and find the silver lining. This book is a reminder to all of us how precious life is and how important the ones that you love are. Beyond Breathing puts things back into perspective especially when the whole world seems so chaotic. Thank you Margarete for sharing Jena and your family with me.
S.Cawley More than 1 year ago
As some one who lost his best friend to cystic fibrosis, I can't thank Margarete Cassalina enough for offering such a raw, honest account of how this disease has affected her and her family. Jena, Eric, Marc and Margarete's story is one of strength, faith and one of hope.

Like my friend, it is abundantly clear from this book that Jena was an inspiration to everyone around her through her vitality, spirit and fight. It only takes five minutes around a young person with this disease, who refuses to feel sorry for themselves, to put your entire life into perspective. My friend taught me how to live, Jena's story reminded me.

Thank you for writing this book Margarete. You've done a wonderful thing for all of us that have dealt with the loss created by this disease.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Margarete Cassalina touches on so many of lifes ups and downs in this book. She shows us what it is like to be told that your child has an incurable disease, the everyday struggles that go along with it, the loss of a child, the pain that ensues, but that there is so much more in life after death. I love the fact that her and her husband will do everything they can to make every day of their childrens' lives special. I laughed and I cried throughout this book, but I smiled at the end. I don't like to read depressing books and this book was totally the opposite. After reading it, I came away feeling uplifted. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Adasgrandfather More than 1 year ago
For those not involved with Cystic Fibrosis this is a revealing and moving life story of a young woman with a challenging family situation and her triumph to reach a strong and purposeful life. It shows the author's strong character and ability to reach out and draw good people into her life. It also gives insights into living and raising a child with a major disease and surviving her death.

For those involved with CF it is an important documentation of what can happen which shows the possible future and how to handle it. As a grandparent with a CF granddaughter it was a tough, realistic lesson that I feel that I needed and might have to deal with in the future. It is very personal and clear with the authors emotions well laid out. It can bring tears to your eyes and strength to your soul.

This book's style makes it easy to read, its content is heart wrenching, but necessary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have recieved both strength and courage from Margarete's inspirational sharing of her journey with her daughter Jena. I have found great comfort in seeing that there is clearly life after death for both those who left us as well as those left behind. Margarete and Jena are a beautiful example of a love that never ends. If you need affirmation of this please read this book. It leaves no doubts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very informative book about CF. A great true story of a family's love and strength in handling a not so every day situation. I cried and laughed throughout. loved this book
JCR1970 More than 1 year ago
A wonderful, motivating, and touching saga of a mom with 2 kids who have cystic fibrosis. Her daughter, Jena, passes away at the age of 13. Half of the book focuses on Jena's health and her decline. Then it is about Margarete's climbing out of despair, learning how to live again when the most precious thing in the world has been taken from her.
As a aprent, reading this book is so moving, it makes you realize the depth of your own love for your children and makes you strong(er) in your faith. I highly recommend this book---a wonderful--true---story.
Smotenko More than 1 year ago
This book was not only wonderfully written, but is amazingly inspirational. I could not put this book down, and I read it from cover to cover in one sitting. After reading this book, it is impossible to look at life the same way.
Megan_Weir More than 1 year ago
I think this is the most inspirational book you can get!!It teaches the values of family and shows strength,love,hope and faith.I love this book!