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Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers' Favorite
In 1976 Keith, a Vietnam veteran, and his wife Judy, a celebrated runner, were given the devastating news that their two-year-old son Aaron had leukemia. They both refused to give up on Aaron or believe the horrifying prognosis that his little body would eventually succumb to the illness. Follow their courageous and heart-wrenching story as they fought the disease with everything they had. From Aaron's incredible outlook as he endured his treatments, including a bone marrow operation, the celebration as he went into remission, to the day cancer returned. In Part Two of Trials by Larry Bradley, we hear Chris's story. Judy's nephew Chris, who was only one when Aaron battled his illness, now had to endure the same illness when he too was diagnosed with leukemia and faced the same uncertain and terrifying future as his cousin.
Whether you are a parent or not, this story of incredible bravery will send you on an emotional rollercoaster. The tireless work of the doctors and nurses was commendable. Their care and professionalism were admirable especially Dr. Maurice Origenes and Dr. Livermore. When doctors found another possible tumor and Aaron did not shed a tear when he faced another biopsy, it spoke volumes of the level of tenacity and resilience he possessed for an 8-year-old child. I thought the way Judy, Keith, and later Doug always placed Aaron's well-being first and foremost was amazing, especially Keith and Doug. They always seemed to place their differences of opinion to one side and find a common ground. The bone marrow operation and the 'I don't want to die' chapters were the hardest for me to read as they covered such painful events.
The letter Judy wrote to Aaron was one of the most heartbreaking vows of love I have ever read. Chris was also another courageous and inspirational little boy. His humor was incredible and this was highlighted perfectly with the brilliant 'Houston, we have a problem' line as he received yet another medical treatment. I also loved the scene when the NBA legend was introduced to Chris, his response was so funny. The words Chris spoke to his mother, “Mom, I couldn’t go through this without you,” touched me deeply. This was an incredibly moving moment to read. The photography was so beautiful too. Trials by Larry Bradley is an absolute must-read. This heartwarming story of one family's endurance, love, hope, and bravery is one that will be hard to forget.