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Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness: A Reluctant Memoir Paperback – Bargain Price, February 1, 2005
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In this moving and engrossing memoir, veteran television news producer Richard Cohen relates a life spent dealing with multiple sclerosis, first diagnosed when he was 25 years old and just getting started in the competitive world of broadcast journalism. As his career progressed, he struggled not only with the disease but the touchy question of how much of the truth about himself to share with colleagues and potential employers. Cohen spent much of his life running from the onset of the disease's symptoms from which his father and grandmother also suffered. Defiantly, he took challenging, sometimes extremely dangerous assignments in Lebanon, Poland, and on the domestic political campaign trail, even as his body deteriorated. But over the course of Blindsided, it becomes apparent that illness had actually built Cohen up even as it ripped him apart. Without the physical and mental toughness required to navigate a journalist's life while fighting back loss of eyesight and poor equilibrium, it's doubtful that the flaky kid we meet early in the book would transform into the award-winning professional Cohen eventually becomes. His marriage to journalist Meredith Vieira, every bit his equal as both newshound and deadpan cynical comic, gave Cohen the stable family life and children he needed when MS made it impossible to continue in a traditional news job. But two bouts with colon cancer in the late 1990s tested his resolve and his family's patience. While Cohen is both courageous and inspirational, Blindsided is not the overly sentimental clichéd tale that stories about fighting illness often become. He refuses to paint himself as the hero (except when making fun of his own failure to be heroic) and recounts in detail the strain that he put on his marriage and children. Stories such as this often end with the memoirist arriving at a state of peace and mental clarity but again Cohen remains more compelling and credible by offering no such pat answers. As with most people fighting to preserve their families, their lives, and their bodies, Richard Cohen's is an ongoing struggle. --John Moe --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Publishers Weekly
In 1972, when he was 25, Cohen, an up-and-coming television journalist, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a disease for which there is no cure. In this wrenching memoir, he tells how he has for the past 30 years succeeded in his determination to "cope and to hope." For a long time, he hid his condition from friends and co-workers, taking on dangerous assignments for CBS in Poland, Lebanon and El Salvador even though his mobility and vision were impaired. He became a senior producer at CBS, and although he eventually quit the station in 1987 because he felt it was pandering to commercial and political pressures, he worked as a producer for PBS, CNN and Fox until he left TV in the late 1990s to become a writer and teacher. In spite of his illness, he also married and had three children. He nearly lost his courage in 1999 when he learned that he had colon cancer, but after two operations and the realization that despair and anger would drive his family away, he come to grips with this, too. In painful detail, he chronicles the progress of multiple sclerosis - the increasing numbness in his hands and legs and the resultant falls, loss of vision to the point where he is now legally blind and, lately, mental confusion. Nevertheless, he writes: "These pages are not about suffering.... This book is about surviving and flourishing, rising above fear and self-doubt and, of course, anger." His wife, Meredith Vieira, a well-known television personality, has been portrayed in popular magazines as a martyr who bears a terrible burden. Cohen proves that nothing could be further from the truth. First serial rights to People magazine.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
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a severe illness. Family members need to read this book to help them
understand the illness and help those afflicted. His story is not finished
and yet there is a future for him. Thankful for the truth and also the hope
he puts forth, and his struggles as he went along. Having a family member
who suffers like he does gives us a look into how we can help them.