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The Match: Savior Siblings and One Family's Battle to Heal Their Daughter Hardcover – April 1, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Beacon Press (April 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0807072869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807072868
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #677,293 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

From Booklist

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

More About the Author

Beth Whitehouse is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for Newsday and an adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Customer Reviews

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I could not put this book down once I started reading it!
N. Kolenda
In life we always have to make decisions that will be seen good through other peoples' eyes and some that don't agree with them.
jessica
The Match, by Beth Whitehouse, tells an extraordinary story extremely well.
M. Carroll

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Robinson on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In "The Match: "Savior Siblings" and One Family's Battle to Heal their Daughter," reporter Beth Whitehouse recounts the agonizing but ultimately triumphant story that follows a family's discovery that their newborn daughter had a disease that could have eventually killed her.

That disease, Diamond Blackfan anemia, alone would have been difficult enough to handle. But Stacy and Steve Trebing eventually learned of a possible cure for Katie's illness, one that required serious soul searching, with longterm ramifications for their family.

They decided to seek a bone marrow transplant from a sibling, one who hadn't even been conceived yet. So began their journey through the world of genetic diagnosis and in vitro fertilization, and their own struggle to cope with the myriad ethical and moral issues brought about by that decision. The potential for failure was a constant presence as they took each step on a long and complex course of treatment.

Not the least of the many issues was how to deal with the moral issues of having a child to save another. What would the second child think of his own value? What if the transplant ultimately failed? The urge to quietly wonder what we'd do in similar circumstances is a constant companion as each setback or triumph occurs.

The Trebings seem like just regular people forced to face incredibly complicated issues fraught with all kinds of emotional questions. That they succeeded is remarkable, as is the fact that they managed to remain so united under such great pressure.

Whitehouse makes even the most ordinary developments and scenes compelling because they're part of the greater drama of the overall story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dawn L. Moore on May 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I liked the story, but it was very hard to find it in this book since the author spent way too much of the book trying to convince the reading that the medical procedures the family used are morally acceptable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jeanine Debar on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When the 5-day series that preceded this book ran in Newsday, I couldn't wait for the paper to come each day to find out what happened to this family, and especially to Katie. When I learned of the book, I had to read it to find out how the Trebings were now; to make sure all was well.

The book exceeded my expectations. Even though I knew the general story (from the Newsday series), I couldn't put it down. Whitehouse writes with such warmth and detail that you feel like you are sitting at the kitchen table or around Katie's hospital bed with this family, weighing in on what the next decision should be.

While the book has a fair amount of medical information, you don't have to be a physician to understand what's going on. For me, it was more about the story of this family's difficult decisions and the roller coaster ride they took for the sake of saving their daughter. You can tell they are real people; a family you could see yourself being friends with. That's part of what sucked me in. Loved it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the true story of a family in crisis. Steve & Stacy's only daughter has a rare illness that requires treatment of monthly blood transfusions. The transfusions work....for awhile. But eventually there had to be a day of decision. Will they or won't they allow their daughter to undergo the inevitable and necessary bone marrow transplant ~ that could save her life, or possibly kill her?

Steve and Stacy faithfully take their daughter in for transfusions, and then while at home, administer medicine to combat possible liver problems caused by multiple transfusions. Later, they must put little Katie on steroids, which cause many mood swings, bloating, and irritability....making their daughter seem like a different little girl.

Realizing that they are running out of options, Stacy & Steve inquire about the possibility of conceiving a child through in vitro fertilization, with the exact DNA as Katie, so he or she could be a bone marrow donor. They learn that it is not only an option, it may be their only real chance at making their daughter completely well.

They learn that this sort of genetic "manipulation" is a very controversial issue, both morally and ethically. Is it acceptable to choose an embryo with a perfect DNA match, minus the disease, for the express purpose of making their sick daughter well?

They flip-flop on whether they want to try it, then decide they must. So they begin the long process of IVF and then ultimately decide to go along with the process of finding the perfect embryo, the perfect "match", to bring a baby into their lives who could hold the key to healing Katie. They first plan to use the cord blood of the infant, and if needed, his bone marrow.
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By M. Carroll on September 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Match, by Beth Whitehouse, tells an extraordinary story extremely well. The author skillfully explains the scientific, emotional and the ethical decisions faced by the Trebing family when their daughter Katie, diagnosed with a rare blood disease, requires a bone marrow transplant from the brother conceived intentionally as a genetic match.

I began this story filled with preconceptions and concerns about the ethics of savior sibling conception, having read a related fictional account in My Sister's Keeper, by Jodi Picoult. I very quickly realized how little I actually knew about this complicated issue. My greatest surprises in reading The Match were how quickly I was able to empathize with the wrenching decisions this family had to make at every step in their journey, and how ably the author helped me to grasp the complex and astonishing science behind their story. As a mother fortunate to never have to make these kinds of decisions, I was moved to tears more times than I can remember. As a reader, I was immediately immersed in the story and felt very connected to the many wonderful people involved. As a science geek, I was astonished at the advances in genetic testing and medicine that drive the events in this story.

Simply, this is one of the best non fiction books I have read in years. Beth Whitehouse is an amazing writer who strikes a fine balance between telling a very good story and educating the reader with the scientific facts and details. I am grateful to the Librarything Early Reviewer Program and Beacon Press for this very moving book.

The Trebing family is an inspiration, and Katie and Christopher are heroes. I wish them all the best, and am very grateful and humbled to know their story.
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