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The Match: Savior Siblings and One Family's Battle to Heal Their Daughter Hardcover


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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: #1,035,815 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

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
I could not put this book down once I started reading it!
N. Kolenda
Having met the Trebing Family, it is very easy to see how Beth Whitehouse was charmed by this delightful and loving family.
Letty G. Sustrin
The family faces heart wrenching decisions along the way as they fight to do what is best for their family.
Emily Brotschul

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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2 of 2 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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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James Mulvaney on March 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A wrenching tale of love, science and luck. If you've ever known a child with an illness, this book will grab you by your soul.
I'm a nationally known expert in reproductive sciences as well as the father of a disabled child. This book must be read.
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By Margaret S. Brandolini on March 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book touched me in a very personal way as my first Grandaughter was born with the same form of anemia that Katie Trebing was born with and reading her story is like reading about our own and what is to come! The book was very well written but sometimes to much medical jargon to absorb. All in all, worth reading!!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While reading The Match "Savior Siblings" and one Family's Battle to Heal Their Daughter, by Beth Whitehouse, I was really touched by the incredible story based on a true life event. Not only was it really emotionally heartwarming, but also a great life lesson about making tough decisions. This book talks about the Trebing family who had a daughter of 3 months, Katie Trebing, who was diagnosed at three months old with Diamond Blackfan anemia. Even as she received monthly blood transfusions she was slowly worsening. As time passed by the Trebing's found out that the only solution to their daughter's sickness was bone marrow transplant. They all got tested to see if at least one of them could possibly be a match for their little girl. After they got the results back and saw none of them were compatible, they did everything they could to raise money for her blood transfusions while the found a match. Then one day they heard a new process that was guaranteed to give them someone with the exact match of DNA for the bone marrow transplant to save Katie's life. They made the decision to have another baby-via in vitro fertilization- in order to save their little baby's life. After a lot of trials and errors Stacy managed to get pregnant with a baby boy who was a perfect match for Katie. They named him Christopher, when he was one year old needles were inserted into the anesthetized baby's hips and his bone marrow transfused into Katie. Regardless of the hard decision they had to make, all the times they were disappointed, being criticized by everybody in their community, they never gave up and were able to save their daughter's life and enjoy their new baby boy at the same time.
I think the author was trying to let us see the two sides of the story.
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