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The People Who Give Us Gifts All Year – The Overcomers

Thursday 29 December 2016


From US newspaper The Quad City Times:


Laura Hillenbrand
Laura Hillenbrand

The people who give us gifts all year — the Overcomers

Llewellyn King
Wednesday December 28, 2016
© Copyright 2016 The Quad City Times, 500 E 3rd St. Davenport, IA

Certain gifts are given to us year in and year out. They are the gifts that keep on giving and they come, to my mind, from people I call “The Overcomers.”


But in my random selection of overcomers, the biggest is Laura Hillenbrand, the author of two nonfiction bestsellers, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” and “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption.” Both were massive works of research and narrative writing.

The back story, though, is one of suffering, terrible unrelenting suffering. Hillenbrand is afflicted with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), also known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

This is a disease that knows no mercy; a life-sentence disease without a cure and no proven therapy. It punishes sufferers for any effort, even mild exercise, condemning them to bed, often for days. The symptoms are extreme fatigue, migraine headache, aching joints, hyper-sensitivity to light and sound, and dysphasia. Some patients are bedridden for years.

Hillenbrand missed her own wedding because she was unable to walk downstairs or to look down. Yet, this overcomer researched and wrote two extraordinary books. Just as important, in a seminal July 7, 2003, essay in The New Yorker, she told her own story, comforting fellow sufferers and prompting the medical world to take ME more seriously.


Full article…



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