From Publishers Weekly
Expanding on her five-part Newsday
series , Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Whitehouse tracks Stacy and Steve Trebing and their decision to create a baby boy selected as an embryo as a genetic match for a sister suffering from Diamond-Blackfan anemia, a rare and fatal disease. When he was a year old, needles were inserted into the anesthetized baby's hips and his marrow siphoned to be transfused into Katie. The process, Whitehouse tells us, would either cure her or kill her. As Whitehouse follows the Trebings from Katie's diagnosis through Christopher's conception via in vitro fertilization to Katie's painful but successful bone-marrow transfusion, she also touches on some of the ethical issues surrounding savior siblings: who protects the child if he later is asked to donate other tissue or even a kidney to help the ailing sibling, and would the parents resent the donor sibling if the ailing sibling died after the bone marrow transfusion? Whitehouse's nimble explanations of complex medical issues in laymen's terms and her penetration of the Trebings' decision-making process will benefit other parents in similar circumstances. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The award-winning articles on which Whitehouse based this book provided an illuminating, detailed, extraordinarily moving account of Stacy and Steve Trebing’s battle to heal their daughter Katie’s Diamond Blackfan anemia (DBA), a rare condition requiring monthly blood transfusions that would eventually destroy her organs. The disease was detected at birth, and Katie’s first transfusion came during her first day. The bone marrow of DBA sufferers makes too few red blood cells, but marrow from a genetically matching sibling can effect a cure. Bioethical controversy surrounds such “savior sibs,” born to provide marrow, and the Trebings rode a roller coaster of doubt, hope, and despair. A mother whose experience with the procedure proved heartbreaking urged Stacy to halt medical preparation, though that was part of the DBA Foundation’s “desensitizing process” to help build Stacy’s fortitude in the face of others’ opinions. Two in-vitro fertilization cycles of progesterone injections, egg retrieval, and embryo biopsy produced Christopher, “born with a job to do.” Katie returned to preschool at age five, medication-free, after more than a year of post-transplant meds. Recommended while the savior-sibs controversy continues. --Whitney Scott