Book Reviews

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"In This Together" by Ann Romney - A Book Review

I love a personal story.  Everyone has a story to tell and Ann Romney has a great one.  In her recently released book, In This Together, Ann Romney focuses on the life altering event of being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), a neurological disease without a cure. Far from being a sad story, Romney's book left me feeling inspired and impressed with her personal strength and determination to carry on with her life. She described this book as "a love letter to those people who are suffering" not just from MS but with any difficulty.

Ann Romney writes about her upbringing, her family, her courtship with Mitt, her children and friends. The lion's share of the book, however, concentrates on her journey with MS. She shares her journey from the time she was diagnosed in 1998 through today.  Her future plans include the opening of the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, scheduled for October, 2016, for which she is the Global Ambassador.

I had the privilege to be on a conference call with Mrs Romney during her book tour.  Let me share some of that conversation.

Along with a treatment of cortisone infustions, she learned about non-traditional treatment options from a friend of a friend also living with MS.  Once a skeptic, she soon became a believer. After almost three years of seeing a Reflexologist three times a week and riding horses five days a week, she began to feel like she was doing a little better with the most devastating of her symptoms, fatigue. She never needed a walker or wheelchair but she said she did lean on Mitt for balance when she was at times unstable as she walked.  The steroids reduced the numbness in her leg enough to be able to walk.  She is still unsteady on her right leg.

Her greatest disappointment in the loss of the national election for President in 2012 with Mitt, other than America being denied the talents of her husband's leadership, was the loss of using her megaphone as First Lady to make MS research her choice of initiative while serving in the White House.  She has channeled that energy into the Center for Neurologic Diseases.  Research and scientists conducting studies will all be under one roof, searching for cures for five different challenges - MS, Parkinson's Disease, Altzheimer's, ALS and brain tumors. Proceeds from this book go to Center.

Why did Ann Romney write this book?  Here are her own words, from the transcript of the conference call:

Mrs. Romney:
"When I decided to write this, I meant this to be a book that would really help others. And I thought the way to do
that was to be as honest as I possibly could, to hold nothing back. And to really share how depressed I was,
how difficult it was, how it affected my life in every single way.  And to do that, I had to be completely honest.  I
just felt that that was really important, and yes, it was hard to share some of those things, and yes it was hard
to write some of those things. But, I decided to do it so that people would really know that it’s a complete
window to my soul, and there is nothing left, and it’s completely honest."

This is a compelling human story of being knocked down with a devastating, life altering illness and finding the strength to carry on.  Mrs. Romney is not only moving on in her life, she is thriving.

I was approached by a representative of St Martin's Press and offered the book for review.  Thanks to Karlyn Hixson for making it such a pleasant experience.

Are you interested in a copy of this book to read for yourself?  I can help with that!  Thanks to St. Martin's Press and a very generous offer, I have three (3) books to give away!  Just put your name and email address in the comments section and I will contact you.  Easy, peasy.  You won't regret reading this story.

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