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Reviewed by Astrid Iustulin for Readers' Favorite
It is never easy to find the courage to tell other people about your disease, and spreading a positive message is even rarer. However, those who overcome their fears and share their experience empower others to make it a most commendable action. This is what Joey Mullaney has done by telling readers about his struggle with FA (Friedreich's ataxia) in his inspirational autobiography Stare at Me. Born into a sports family and a sports enthusiast himself, Mullaney discovers at 13 that he will not have a "normal" youth as FA will progressively impair his movements as had happened to his sister. From that moment onwards, despite having the same aspirations as any young person, managing his illness will become Mullaney's primary concern.
Stare at Me: How Being Blindsided Brings Life Into Focus is one of the most candid autobiographies I have ever read. Joey Mullaney tells his story without hiding anything but also without making excuses for himself. He is not seeking our sympathy but focuses on spreading a relevant message of hope and energy. He often stresses the importance of the discoveries he makes along the way, and his comments are enlightening. I admire him for his ability to learn from any event and take advantage of them for his personal development. He sets an excellent example for us all. We can learn a lot about the best attitude to develop in difficult situations from Stare at Me. Mullaney shows us how to go through life with courage and determination, and we should treasure this lesson to get the most out of our own lives.