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Saving Each Other: A Mother-Daughter Love Story (edition 2012)

by Victoria Jackson, Ali Guthy

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831,035,133 (3.33)None
Member:Staciele
Title:Saving Each Other: A Mother-Daughter Love Story
Authors:Victoria Jackson
Other authors:Ali Guthy
Info:Vanguard Press (2012), Hardcover, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:NMO, non fiction, biography, mother/daughter, MS, health care

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Saving Each Other: A Mother-Daughter Love Story by Victoria Jackson

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Saving Each Other, A Mother-Daughter Love Story by Victoria Jackson and Ali Guthy is better than I expected. Warned by some negative reviews, I was hesitant to state reading this book. A big fan of the TV show, Mystery Diagnosis, I am interested in all rare diseases. NMO or Neuromyelitis Optica is an autoimmune disease that attacks the optic nerve and later the spinal nerves. It can result in blindness, paralysis or even death.

This is the story of Ali Guthy’s struggle with NMO and her mother’s reaction to it. Both of her parents are in sale related occupations. Ali’s mother is a high school dropout who started a very successful business. The negative of this book is that Victoria Jackson is unable to tell her story without telling about the story of her business. So part of the book becomes a sort of commercial for herself and a celebration of her company. Oddly enough, I have read another story about a father and his son’s rare condition where the father had trouble sorting out what should be in the book so I was prepared for it.

Ali’s story came through as genuine and warm. She is a beautiful, athletic, innocent fourteen year old. She did not want to know any details about the disease for a long time. She shielded herself from the truth and let her parents carry the burden. She tells of having terrible nausea, vomiting and blurred vision at the beginning. She was horrified to be accused of being anorexic. She journals the rest of her experiences, even tennis matches including her visit to Mayo Clinic and the many doctors and treatments. At times, she seems more mature than her mother.

Victoria Jackson, Ali’s mother started researching the disease and learning the medical lingo, at first it was to help Ali but later her mission expand to help everyone who has NMO. She was told that her daughter would only have four to six years to live. Victoria used her skills to fund raise and set up an organization for NMO. Both the mother and daughter have a deep love and respect for each other. The struggle may have even deepened their bond.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has NMO or has friends or family with it. ( )
  Carolee888 | Jan 21, 2014 |
Saving Each Other by Victoria Jackson and Ali Guthy
This book is about a girl in her teens that develops a mystery illness.
Interesting how the book works. Parts of it are told by the daughter and some from the mother's side, as they are going through each day. You get a really good idea of what's going on.
I also have a rare eye illness and have been to the best and I have just learned to live with what I have left.
Lot of doctor terminology and it's up to them as to what treatments they do try. They do end up traveling to a lot of different big cities to follow the doctors around that know of the disease and how to treat it.
Everybody is different and they pray on the 2% that will survive.
At times it's difficult for me to read as I recall many of the same experiences of my illness.
Love how they use their resources to come up with help for them and others with the same disease. My friends and I started a local support group for lyme disease and we did attempt to get grants to help educate everybody so I know how hard the task is.
Praying helps get them through it all and some swearing... ( )
  jbarr5 | Nov 2, 2013 |
As a mom, I wasn't sure I wanted to read this book. Then again, as a mom, I needed to read this book. A mother's greatest fear is something happening to their children. You pray for a healthy baby and when you are blessed with one, you think all your worries are over until, your baby becomes a toddler, then goes off to school and then college, etc. As a mother you are always going to worry about your children, forever. At each stage, you think you have made it and then BAM! there you are in another stage with a whole new set of worries.

Victoria Jackson was the Mother of all Worriers. According to her daughter Ali, "she had the worry bases covered. Not just the bases - she had the bleachers, the dugout, and the entire field covered." Victoria Jackson has worked hard her whole life for everything she has. She started at the bottom and has since become a powerhouse in the cosmetic and infomercial industry. But, beyond all those successes, the only ones she truly cared about were her three children. That much I can tell from this book. As a mother, I identified with her drive, her worry, her fear, and her determination to "fix" this disease.

This book chronicles Victoria's fight against the disease and Ali's struggles with maintaining her life as a high school student and athlete as well as fighting a disease she doesn't even know she has until she agrees to hear the name. You follow them along to doctor appointments, tennis matches, weekend getaways, as well as their inner most thoughts. This story shares the good and the bad with the reader and shows how to you can make it through the worst of it.

Because of the Jackson-Guthy fortune, they were able to really make leaps and bounds when it comes to research and finding the best doctors for Ali. Nowhere in the book was insurance mentioned. Nowhere in the book did Victoria mention having to struggle with their insurance company with whether or not a procedure or drug would be covered. If they wanted to receive care from a doctor, they went to see him/her. If they wanted a nurse to come to their home to give treatment at all hours of the day, she did. To me, this isn't the norm. Because of their financial status, Ali's treatment was different from what most patients receive in this country. I wish that wasn't the case and frankly, so does Victoria Jackson. Something must be done with our health care system. But, for Victoria, at first this was about saving her daughter. Then it became saving the many other families suffering with NMO.

Ali is an amazing young woman. She is wise beyond her years and even though much of her life has been privileged, she has had more struggles that any of us would bear to handle. Throughout all of this, her positive attitude was inspiring. Even though she struggled with excruciating pain, she always found the silver lining, like when looking at their "Connect the Docs" map and pointing out that at least having NMO has helped her knowledge of world geography. Ali is a bright light in her family, I am sure.

Even though this book is sad and a bit self-indulgent at times, I think you will find it inspiring and heart felt. All proceeds from this book directly support scientific and clinical research for NMO. ( )
  Staciele | Jan 18, 2013 |
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Jackson was the American Dream personified until her daughter, Ali, was diagnosed with Neuromyelitis Optica, a little understood, incurable, and often fatal autoimmune disease that can cause blindness, paralysis, and life-threatening seizures. At the age of 14, Ali was given a terrifying prognosis of four to six years to live. Told in alternating viewpoints, they narrate their very different journeys of coming to terms with the lack of control that neither mother nor daughter have over NMO, and their efforts to take their fight to a global level.… (more)

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