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The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million--and Bucked the Medical Establishment--in a Quest to Save His Children Paperback – December 29, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (December 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006073440X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060734404
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #912,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

At 15 months old, Megan Crowley was diagnosed with Pompe disease, a rare genetic disorder that was likely to reduce her life span to five years at most. Her five-month-old brother, Patrick, shared the same disease and its crippling progression. Their father, John Crowley, a freshly minted Harvard MBA graduate, was determined to use his brains and connections to find a cure. He started a family foundation to fund research on Pompe disease and eventually headed a biomedical start-up company with a promising approach. Ironically, the more involved he got in efforts to find a cure, the slimmer the prospects were for his own children as hard business decisions and conflict-of-interest questions thwarted his efforts. Blocked from getting his children into clinical trials that could prolong their lives, and watching them grow weaker and weaker, Crowley concedes that he was occasionally tempted to simply steal the precious drugs. But he pressed ahead. Anand, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with the Wall Street Journal, delivers a detailed and heart-wrenching account of a father's extraordinary efforts to save his children and find a cure for a debilitating and life-threatening disease. Vanessa Bush
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Amazing. . . . The Cure explores human courage under the most trying circumstances.” (New York Post)

“Anand, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with the Wall Street Journal, delivers a detailed and heart-wrenching account of a father’s extraordinary efforts to save his children and find a cure for a debilitating and life-threatening disease. (Booklist)

“A well-researched, skillfully written, inspiring account of one man who wouldn’t take no for an answer.” (Boston Globe)

“Inspiring.” (Rutland Herald)

“Suspenseful, poignant…Anand’s The Cure is a wild rollercoaster ride at the edge of medicine.” (Jonathan Weiner, author of His Brother's Keeper)

“Brilliantly written! This is the story of a marriage and family that survived despite incredible odds.” (Abbey Meyers, president of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD))

“Intensely moving, powerful...This gripping account will inspire and sustain hope for all parents whose children are stricken with disease.” (Louis Freeh, former FBI director)

More About the Author

Geeta Anand is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter and feature writer for the Wall Street Journal. Formerly a political reporter for the Boston Globe, she now specializes in health care, education, and environmental challenges in India. She lives in Mumbai with her husband and two daughters.

Customer Reviews

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Very good book - Interesting story.
person
It's a story about the dad's struggle to find a cure for the disease.
Stormy
The book makes you think and it makes you care.
John Sheehy

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John Sheehy on October 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book has a lot of emotional depth and complexity. John Crowley, the young father, is brash, brilliant, arrogant, and ignorant. He makes personal mistakes and business mistakes, yet you remain drawn to his story by empathy for his desperation as he fears that his small children will suffer a slow painful death. It's an honest and interesting portrait of a real human being, not a one-dimensional hero.

It's not really a business book and you don't need any familiarity with venture capital financing to understand the text, but John Crowley's business provides the book with a fascinating emotional contrast between his frantic urgency as a parent and the dispassionate PowerPoint analyses expected by his investors. They share a common goal, but the mindset is completely different.

It's not really a science book, but the drug development process adds to the story's drama. There's no Eureka! moment when all the problems are solved. Patients are desperate for anything they can get as soon as they can get it, but the science is ambiguous, the bizarre biotechnology manufacturing processes are difficult to operate, and then the clinical trial results are uncertain. An experimental compound might kill a young patient, or bring quick improvements that fade over time, or have different impacts on different patients. And even with these uncertain prospects there's strong competition among parents for the extremely limited number of places in trials.

One of the most appealing aspects of the book is the author's light touch. She never puts herself or her opinions into the story. The book ends with an Afterword relating events subsequent to the basic text, but the author doesn't seize pages to tell us what it all means.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Nasir Khan on September 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
As a father myself, I was incredibly moved by this book. It's an inspiring story about the things parents will do for their children. The writing is effortless, vivid and sensitive - you go through the Crowley's ups and downs with them from chapter to chapter, and you cannot stop until you have finished the entire book. I never thought reading about biotech firms could be this enoyable either - the author does an excellent job of taking you into world of biotech and venture capital and making it at once interesting, informative and easy to understand.

This is simply a great book about a family's incredible, heart-wrenching story. A must read for all, especially for parents (and would be entrepreneurs).
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By JHR on September 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Kudos to this story of John Crowley's unbelievably ambitious, frequently frustrated and sometimes ethically reckless effort to find a cure for the fatal disease that afflicts two of his children.

This book's perfect pacing and lean, utilitarian prose treats a tale that could have been as saccharine as a Lifetime movie as an unremittingly suspenseful thriller as Crowley has to balance his fiduciary responsibilities as the head of a biotechnology firm with his pressing need to get his children into a clinical drug trial before they die.

It's a predicament that makes Sophie's Choice seem like a simple dilemma to resolve, but the author effortlessly weaves the complex world of biotechnology research and venture capital into a family story that any parent could identify with. It reminds me of David Simon's Homicide or Jon Harr's Civil Action.

Crowley may now be a rich man, but it's uplifting to read about a CEO driven to succeed -- even if it means bending the rules -- by motives far more moral than the soul-sucking avarice that dominates Wall Street today.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Smith on September 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I also couldn't put this book down. It's not only an incredible story about the lengths this one man went to in order to come up with treatment for his children, it's also a fascinating and rare look inside the biotechnology industry. Geeta Anand has woven into this amazing human story a suspenseful business story, AND a compelling scientific story. I can't think of any other business or scientific tale that is so clear, lucid, and fascinating. Hats off (and when is the sequel coming out?)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Tagliarino on October 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ms. Anand tells a wonderful tale of true love. Love of a husband and wife faced with unexpected challenges so early in their marriage, and how they struggled to keep that love alive under both sad and horrific conditions. Love of children for their parents and each other. Love of family, both immediate and extended. And love for each and every person touched by the fight for the cure. I was swept away by the human drama and just when I thought I knew what was going to happen next, the story look another unforeseen turn. It's amazing to realize that this is a true story. Life and love doesn't get any better than this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn Uyemura VINE VOICE on July 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was made into the movie "Extraordinary Measures," and I'm glad that the author probably was well-paid for the effort she put into this book. The level of detail here is extraordinary in itself. But at the same time, it is also the book's one weakness: what story is she telling? Is this a human interest story, an inspiring story of the struggles and triumphs of a family with more than its fair share of heartbreak and suffering? Or is it a story about venture capital and the role it plays in the pharmaceutical industry? Actually, it's both, and it pretty much works, since John Crowley is both the father of an extraordinary family and the business executive who tries to find a cure for a terrible disease.

But because of this double focus, almost any reader is going to find parts of the story a waste of time, and get the urge to start skimming sections. There is also quite a bit of information about the science side of the story as well, but again, neither the human interest reader nor the business reader is likely to care.

The writing is smooth and unobtrusive. The pacing is excellent. The story is heart-breaking and amazing. But the question of audience remains.

Also, since the author originally wrote two stories about this family and their situation for the Wall Street Journal, one of the morals she draws in her conclusion is that this book demonstrates "the power of the profit motive to speed science into medicine." I think many readers would question whether this story or any story shows "the power of the profit motive" in such a positive light. The need to put stockholder value first, above the needs of patients with rare diseases, and the extraordinary cost of the medicine, as well as the extraordinary financial rewards that a man like John Crowley receives, all call that conclusion into question in my mind.
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