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My new book, “The North Side of Down” will be available in just a couple of days. This is a bittersweet time for me, as this is my sister Amanda’s story, and it involved a lot of heartache for both of us. Amanda has Down’s syndrome and she lost both of her parents within the space of 3 years. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she became enmeshed in a belligerent guardianship dispute between two siblings.
“The North Side of Down” tells how Amanda bore the pain of this era, this life-changing state, as she was hurtled through funerals, fights, being moved from one home to the next, court cases and isolation. She managed it all without losing her dignity and in fact, came out smiling.
As much as I am horrified by the behavior of our siblings, I marvel at Amanda’s elegance. It’s unfortunate that, due to more legal red tape, I was unable to keep her name on the book as my co-author. But this is her story, heart and soul. She will still get 50% royalties and I still expect her to attend events and book signings with me.
Our hope is that this story will give others a heads-up to get affairs in order. You may grow up with someone, but you may not really know them until the chips are down. At that point, you will find your true hero.