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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived by Karen DeBonis is the story of a mother as she relates how she and her son fought against a brain tumor. Karen DeBonis and her husband were blindsided when their son developed medical complications. As Mathew grew older, he developed different ailments that left Karen scrambling for answers. However, her world came crashing down when he was diagnosed with a benign tumor on his brain stem. Mathew’s condition taught Karen to be less passive and take charge if she wanted her son to be treated properly by the medical system. Through Mathew’s journey to health, Karen learned to become a woman with confidence and authority and someone ready to fight for her family until her last breath.
Karen DeBonis reminded me of my mother. She was also passive, meek, and didn’t speak very much, but the moment my sister fell ill, she became a lioness. Something similar happened with Karen. Her personality changed completely when Mathew didn’t receive the right medical attention from the doctors, despite showing signs that something was wrong. Karen fought for him, and that gave her the confidence to raise her voice, speak out when she would otherwise have remained silent, and fight for her son. I felt rage when the doctors disregarded Karen’s concern because she felt emotional about her son’s condition. That also made me wonder how many more women suffered the same treatment. Karen kept her narrative free of emotion and simply shared her story with readers. The writing style was comforting and calm. It made me feel as if I was a part of her story, and I wanted Mathew to get better quickly. She wasn’t too technical about the terms and shared the information in a way that would be easy for most people to understand. I felt compassion for her, but Karen also gave me a surge of pride in her progress. Growth was the perfect pick-me-up I needed, and I highly recommend it.