The moving, true story of the young woman dubbed “The Voice of America’s Bullied”; how her bond with her dog, Izzy, changed her life; and their mission to help break the cycle of bullying.
In middle school, Gabrielle “Gabe” Ford developed a degenerative muscle disease, and was harassed by bullies as a result. She did her best to keep her head high, but it wasn’t easy. Then Gabe got a dog, Izzy, who developed an uncannily similar disorder. They were invited to appear on Animal Planet to talk about their bond, which in turn led to an invitation to speak at a school. And so began Gabe’s career as an anti-bullying advocate. Dubbed “The Voice of America’s Bullied” by the Huffington Post, Gabe now makes a career of public speaking and has received numerous honors for her hard work. Here is her amazing story—from her lowest days dealing with various challenges, to the unbelievable and immediate bond with Izzy, to her ongoing mission to put an end to bullying, one school at a time.
Includes resources and tips for readers, plus a color insert of photographs!
About the Author
As a child, Gabrielle loved dance and dreamed of becoming a prima ballerina. That dream was shattered by a rare genetic neuromuscular disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia, that would eventually place her in a wheelchair. Gabe not only struggled with the devastation of the illness, but also endured constant and cruel bullying from classmates. The constant torment took her on a path of depression and isolation.
That all changed when Izzy, a long-eared coonhound pup, entered Gabe’s life. Izzy became Gabe’s best friend and constant companion. When this special friend mysteriously developed a condition mirroring Gabe’s, Gabe re-entered the world to get Izzy the best treatment available.
Speaking out for the voiceless Izzy gave her the courage to speak out for another voiceless group: the thousands of children bullied in American schools every day. Through countless personal trials, Gabe found her way back to the stage as an outspoken advocate against school bullying. In addition to her countless school visits, she has also been a keynote speaker at various conferences and conventions, and has earned many honors.
Gabe now makes numerous appearances each year with her new dog ILO (Izzy Lives On). She lives with her family in Melbourne, Florida.
Connect with Gabe at: www.gabeandizzy.com
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
My daughter is a middle school English teacher and her students are reading this book. Other teachers in the school are telling my daughter how students are commenting in their other classes about this read and how they don't want to put it down. My daughter says it's amazing how much the students are talking all over the school about Gabe and Izzy who is dubbed The Voice for America's Bullied. This story shows empathy for those who bully, and helps them recognize their behavior, because they too are hurting for attention, or dealing with something in their own life that is making them act out hurting others.