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Saving Henry: A Mother's Journey (Hardcover)
Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
"A heartbreaking story, exquisitely told . . . Laurie Strongin's integrity, humanity, and wisdom are an inspiration to the rest of us."
--David Shenk, author of The Forgetting
Saving Henry is the eye-opening and inspiring story of how far a family will go to save the life of their child. Laurie Strongin's son Henry was born with a heart condition that was operable, but which proved to be a precursor for a rare, almost-always fatal illness: Fanconi anemia. Deciding to pursue every avenue that might provide a cure, Laurie and her husband signed on for a brand new procedure that combined in vitro fertilization with genetic testing to produce a baby without the disease, who could be a stem cell donor for Henry. As Laurie puts it: "I believe in love and science, nothing more and nothing less."
Laurie and her husband endured nine failed courses of the procedure before giving up. But Saving Henry is also about hope. It is the story of Henry, the feisty little boy who loved Batman, Cal Ripken Jr., and root beer-flavored anesthesia, and who captivated everyone with his spunk and positive attitude. When the nurses came to take blood samples, Henry brandished his toy sword and said, "Bring it on!" When he lost his hair after a chemo treatment, he declared, "Hey, I look like Michael Jordan!"
Laurie became a fervent advocate for stem cell research, working with policymakers and the scientific community to bring attention to Henry's case and to the groundbreaking research that could save many lives. Henry's courage and bravery inspired nurses, doctors, friends, and family. Saving Henry is the story of one family's search for a cure, and the long-lasting scientific impact their amazing little boy has had.
Praise for Saving Henry
"How do you make beauty and meaning out of unimaginable sorrow? Saving Henry is a stirring account of struggle, love, and loss that manages to be both honest and inspiring."
--Rabbi David Wolpe, author of Making Loss Matter and Why Faith Matters
"Henry's story is important and newsworthy; a testament to how the debate over medical technology and stem cell research is not just an academic argument, but also a searingly personal one. Mostly, though, it's an intimate love story. We should all learn from Henry what his family has learned--to live well and laugh hard."
--Lisa Belkin, journalist, The New York Times
"Saving Henry is a marvelously told tale of love triumphant. Parents often say they would do anything for their children. This is the story of a couple that actually did."
--Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent, The Atlantic
"There's a reason Saving Henry rings with so much truth: the author lived every word of it. It's a vivid, beautifully rendered, and almost painfully honest account of a journey none of them wanted to take, but could not avoid, thanks to a bad throw of the genetic dice. Laurie, her husband Allen, and especially little Henry, become pioneers in a landscape of complex technological procedures that offer hope but also bring pain . . . and yet they keep trying. This is a tale of a family that will not quit."
--John Donvan, correspondent, ABC News
"Strongin has a gift for telling a complex medical story as an unfolding family narrative--a family that in so many ways is my family, your family, anybody's family. Any of us in today's world could find ourselves facing the difficult and challenging set of decisions this family had to make. Strongin's story is a truthful and honest road map we may want to follow."
--Dr. Ranit Mishori, contributing health editor, Parade Magazine; professor, Georgetown University School of Medicine
About the Author
Laurie Strongin is the Founder and Executive Director of Hope for Henry Foundation, which brings smiles and laughter to seriously ill children. Prior to that, Laurie was Senior Director of Wealth Creation at the Fannie Mae Foundation. Laurie also acts as a family advocate in the ongoing national discussion about ethics and genetics. She has participated as a panelist and guest lecturer in a range of forums hosted by the Johns Hopkins Genetics and Public Policy Center on preimplantation genetic diagnosis. In 2006, Laurie joined Nancy Pelosi to urge the Senate to pass the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act. That summer, Laurie published an Op-Ed in the Washington Post. She and her family were featured on Nightline, and in a New York Times piece, as well.
Laurie is a regular panelist on Clear Channel's Sunday radio program, "Women Talk," broadcast in the Washington, D.C. area on WMZQ, WASH-FM, WBIG and DC101. She lives in Washington, D.C.