Voices of Illness, a Chorus of Hope
On Sale: January 2, 2008
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Strong at the Broken Places is the remarkable story
of five ordinary people trapped in the complex world of
serious chronic illness. In this intimate portrait,
acclaimed journalist Richard M. Cohen probes lives of
sickness as these individuals struggle to cope.
In 2003 Cohen published Blindsided, a bestselling
memoir of illness. The outpouring of support revealed to him
that not only does the public want to hear from people who
overcome the challenges of illness, but that in the isolated
world of illness, there are people who want their voices to
be heard. Strong at the Broken Places was born of the
desire of many to share their stories in the hope that the
sick and those who love them will see that they are not
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; Larry, whose bipolar disorder is hidden
within. The five are different in age and gender, race and
economic status, but they are determined to live life on
their own terms. Intimately involved with these patients'
lives, Cohen formed intense relationships with each, talked
to their families and friends, and shared joy, even in
Though each individual's
illness wreaks havoc in a different way, Cohen shows how
their experiences are strikingly similar and offer lessons
for us all—on self-determination, on courage in the face of
adversity and public ignorance, on keeping hope alive, and
on finding strength and peace under the most difficult of
We are strong at the broken places,
stronger than we think. In sharing these inspirational and
revealing stories, Richard M. Cohen and his fellow warriors
against illness offer a chorus of hope.
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