This account of this mother's journey with cancer and her family's plot to meet Taylor Swift is so compelling that Gross was chosen as the 2015 New Apple Book Awards Winner For Excellence In Independent Publishing, General Non-Fiction Category. Not bad for a first book!
Anyone with a rare disease knows how difficult it is to find a doctor that can help you, let alone diagnose you. Gross's battle wasn't just with the disease, which left her severely fatigued, but also with a parade of doctors who couldn't or wouldn't agree on diagnosis or treatment, and hospital staff who behaved toward her in a most abysmal manner. If it wasn't for her perseverance and intuition, she would have remained vulnerable to stroke as well as potentially lethal consequences of a drug she knew was harming instead of helping her.
Where does Taylor Swift come in? This is the fun part. Page is a devout Swiftie. She lives and breathes Taylor. Gross and her husband could see how the medical crisis was impacting their sensitive and thoughtful daughter. So these can-do folks concocted a boldly outrageous yet incredibly efficient plan for Page to meet her idol. I won't spoil the adventure for you, but suffice it to say, the second part of the book, dedicated to their Help Me Find Taylor Swift Adventure, is a joyful read.
Gross accomplishes something that isn't easy to do - she instructs us on a rare disease and shares her lowest of low experiences with us, but contrasts this with the lighthearted mischief of their trip to find Taylor. She allows us into her heart, home and hospital room, and eventually into their hotel, to witness an incredible example of creating joie de vivre even in the worst of times.
Gross is a role model for those who want to be empowered patients, and shares good tips on getting the best care for yourself, including listening to your gut, leaving a doctor who doesn't listen to or respect you, and bringing a tape recorder to your doctor visits (I've done that, too). She also provides helpful links and resources for those with cancer or chronic illness.
This book honors Taylor and her big-hearted generosity, as well as helping and inspiring others who fight devastating illnesses. But Gross doesn't stop there. No, Taylor Swift is not the only big-hearted, generous woman in this book. All proceeds from the book are donated to various charities to help those with cancer and invisible illness.
This book gets a big thumbs up from me! I wish could live next door to such a great family as the Grosses. I just love adventurous can-do people! Don't you?
Dream Accomplished: A Story of Cancer, a Mother's Love and Taylor Swift is available for Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.com and from dreamaccomplished.com/buy.html where you can purchase an autographed print copy of the book.