the Trebing family as their daughter's illness leads them to conceive a sibling who might save herlife, Beth Whitehouse takes us on a journey so rich in hope, commitment, and love that it forcesus to suspend any judgments we might have held. Instead, we root for this family, as they-aidedby their tireless relatives, dedicated friends, and team of exemplary medical professionals-stepright to the edge of contemporary science. The result is a great story, and a remarkable work of journalism."
Rachel Simon, author of
Riding the Bus with My Sister
"In the quest to cure their daughter, Steve and Stacy Trebing made an enormous and potentiallydangerous medical decision-which inevitably led to another decision, and another, and another,as medical decisions tend to do in this day and time. Beth Whitehouse was there with them,witnessing their struggle and capturing it with accuracy and empathy.
is a riveting,vividly written tale of what happens when two powerful forces-parental love and modernscience-converge to try to help a very brave child through the deliberate conception of another."
Liza Mundy, author of
Everything Conceivable: How Assisted Reproduction Is Changing Our World
About the Author
Beth Whitehouse is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for
. Her five-part front-pageseries "The Match," which was the basis for this book, won numerous awards, including theAmerican Association of Sunday and Feature Writers First Place for Narrative Writing, aNational Association of Science Writers Award, and a Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalismin Service to Children. Whitehouse is an adjunct professor of journalism at Columbia University.
Questions for Discussion
At one doctor's appointment, Stacy points to a sonogram image and says, "Look, Katie,there's your miracle baby. Say hi. That was made especially for you. With love" (p. 100).Christopher's being born to save his sister's life has a lot of implications for their futurerelationship. What are some of the possible problems or benefits of Katie's thinking of Christopher as being "made especially for [her]"?2.
Should anyone be born for a specific purpose, such as donating bone marrow to another?How might being conceived for a specific reason or objective affect a child's future andrelationship with his or her family? Do you think it is unethical? Or are some reasons justified, such as donating blood that will save someone's life, and others not, such as,say, donating an organ?3.
The Trebings' first child, Calvin, has clearly been deeply affected by Katie's illness, hisparents' focus on her treatment, and Christopher's special contribution to Katie's life. Howmight his understanding of the process his family undergoes differ from that of Katie's,Christopher's, or their parents'?4.
When Stacy and Steve arrive at Camp Sunshine, Stacy is surprised to learn that otherparents don't share their optimism about the bone marrow transplant they hope will saveKatie's life. Stacy asks herself, "Am I a bad mother that I want to do this?" (pp. 68-69).