The bestselling author of Blindsided, Richard M. Cohen spent three years chronicling the lives of five diverse "citizens of sickness": Denise, who suffers from ALS; Buzz, whose Christian faith helps him deal with his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma; Sarah, a determined young woman with Crohn's disease; Ben, a college student with muscular dystrophy; and Larry, whose bipolar disorder is hidden within. Differing in age and gender, race and economic status, all five are determined to live life on their own terms. In Strong at the Broken Places, Cohen shares these inspirational and revealing stories, which offer lessons for us all—–on self-determination, on courage in the face of adversity and public ignorance, on keeping hope alive.
We are all strong at the broken places—stronger than we think.
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About the Author
Richard M. Cohen's distinguished career in journalism earned him numerous awards, including three Emmys and a George Foster Peabody Award. He lives outside New York City with his wife, Meredith Vieira, and their three children.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The author and his five subjects present a wide range of chronic illnesses and methods of coping with these life altering maladies. The theme of the book is not so much about life with Multiple Sclerosis, Bipolar Disorder, Muscular Dystrophy, Lymphoma, ALS, or Crohn's Disease, but how these people are perceived by society. Being treated as not up to par intellectually or snubbed because of physical restrictions are some of the greatest hurts they encounter. They are treated as less than human because they are less than whole. The storytellers point out the ignorance and fear shown by their peers and the condescension and callousness of some of their doctors. There are varying degrees of family support and different religious beliefs that keep these patients going. These are all strong people who are trying to make life better for others in similar situations. This book is about the need for all of us to be more than just tolerant, but truly accepting and compassionate toward those who are different. It is not a difficult read and is written in an engaging format. I would recommend this book for high school and college students. It would be great for book clubs and support groups. More exposure to life with chronic illness and the feelings of the patients will help develop a more compassionate society. Thank you to Ben, Buzz, Denise, Larry, and Sarah for sharing your stories with Richard and all of us.
Each of the five people interviewed and described by Richard Cohen, as well as what he is doing in his own life, inspired me to take a closer look at the obstacles I run up against and to find a new way out even if I think that is an impossible task. I've made these people and their lives and personalities a part of my life. I carry them and their inspiration with me.