When Bridget Moore left Ireland in 1865, she never suspected that along with her trunk and rosary beads, she was bringing Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy to New York City. It wasn't until Bridget was a grandmother, one who had buried four of her grandsons, that she realized she'd brought MD to the States, a disease that would haunt her family for generations. Years later, her great-grandchildren grew up under the elevated trains of Jackson Heights, Queens—and one of them was Christine Kehl O'Hagan, the author of this moving and insightful memoir.
Christine, her sister Pam, and their brother Richie played in the streets and attended mass every Sunday. But Richie had trouble walking. By the time he was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, Christine learned that two of her mother's brothers—uncles she'd never known about—had died of MD. Christine eventually married and had a healthy son. But one day she saw her second boy, Jamie, struggle to climb onto the school bus—and she knew knew then and there that this disease would be with her the rest of her life.
Extraordinarily written, with much honesty and humor, The Book of Kehls is the engaging story of a family that has known love, courage, and heartbreak in equal measure—and survived.