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Thread: Newton couple authors book

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    Senior Member Max's Avatar
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    Jul 2001
    Montreal,Province of Quebec, CANADA

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    Newton couple authors book

    Newton -

    One way to test the strength of a marriage is to write a book.
    There are thousands of words to argue over, deadlines to stress about and late nights to recover from.
    Though Saul Wisnia and Michelle Alpert now have a thick paperback with a shiny cover, neither of them is enthusiastic about doing it again.
    “At times, it was painful,” said Alpert, who took the laptop on family vacations to Martha’s Vineyard and Michigan. “We wanted to work at different times and it didn’t really come together until we started to carve time out of the week to write.”
    Alpert, the director of rehabilitation medicine at the Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, was approached by Harvard University Press to write a book about coping with spinal cord injuries. Her husband, Wisnia, who works as a senior publications editor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and who has authored many books, signed on to help her with the writing.
    Combining Alpert’s clinical experience with Wisnia’s career in media and media relations, the pair chronicled the recovery process for several patients suffering from spinal cord injuries. They created a guidebook for patients with spinal cord injuries, sprinkling it with anecdotes from patients, offering real examples of success stories.
    “We wanted to make it as readable as possible for everyone,” said Wisnia, “…to make it something that everyone could pick up.”
    The final product is as much for the families as it is for the patient.
    “When someone is hurt, the community around them and the family is such an important part of the recovery. We almost look at the book as a triage for families.”
    Both were impressed with the hurdles families overcome on a daily basis.
    Because Alpert works so often with her patients in a professional environment, she said, “It was nice to see the patients in their homes.”
    Wisnia added, “We watched them go through the painstaking process of getting ready in the morning. We saw how kids need to learn how to help parents…And the parents were just like any other parents, the kids were like any other kid, but there were the subtle things.”
    Their work on spinal cord injury recovery led Alpert and Wisnia to the Mahoneys – then seven-year-old Marianne was navigating through childhood in a wheelchair.
    Alpert remembers watching a cute, curly-haired blond come rolling out of a van. She gathered her courage and approached Marianne’s mother about the book she was working on.
    Wisnia and Alpert found Marianne and her family to be an example of hope.
    On one of their interviews with the family, Wisnia asked her brother, “Did you ever think about what it would be like if Marianne could walk?”
    His response? “She wouldn’t be Marianne.”
    “The stories are inspirational,” Wisnia said. “There are so many elements of life for someone suffering from spinal cord injuries that are things we take for granted. So many people have dealt with these challenges and make a new life for themselves (sometimes better lives) and that is inspiring.”
    Looking back on it, the couple is glad that they invested the last six years to put out the book. They hope it can be a resource to families who are living with a spinal cord injury.
    Last edited by Max; 10-16-2008 at 12:12 AM.

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