The Other Side of Impossible

You’re faced with a difficult health condition. You have exhausted medicine’s answers. What do you do?

These are the stories of seven families who were determined to solve the unsolvable. Their adventures take us to the outer frontiers of medical science and cutting-edge complementary therapies, as we explore research into the mind’s potential to heal the body, the possible role food may play in reversing disease, and the power of agency, perseverance, hope—and more.

When I noticed my three-year-old son, Shepherd, shying away from soccer practice, I had no idea it was the first sign of juvenile idiopathic arthritis. The diagnosis was the first step of a long journey, physically painful for Shepherd and emotionally wrenching for our family. But we pressed on, and using a combination of traditional and complementary medicine we beat the disease, and the odds.

I write about our own story, and the stories of families like ours who persisted when traditional medicine alone wasn’t enough. One boy who has severe food allergies undergoes an unconventional therapy and is soon eating everything. A physician with MS creates her own combination of treatments and goes from a wheelchair to riding a bike again. A child diagnosed with ADHD refuses to take medication and instead improves his life, and the life of his family, after changing his diet. Other families take on rheumatoid arthritis, intractable epilepsy, and autistic behaviors.

The book takes us into the lives of remarkable people, their heartbreaks and triumphs. Researching the book, I learned new information about traditional and nontraditional medicine and the latest science on how the health of our gut bacteria is connected to wellness—and how the right foods play a key role in helping this microscopic population thrive. I talked with scientists who study the traits and circumstances that may make some people keep going when others feel helpless. These researchers are illuminating the psychology of healing—how the mind, and asserting control over your body and health, can play a part in recovery.

The Other Side of Impossible is about people driven by love, desperation, and astonishing resolve—a community of the defiant who share an extraordinary talent for hope and for fighting the battle for healing in today’s world and tomorrow’s.

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For media inquiries, please contact Barbara Fillon (bfillon@penguinrandomhouse.com).

 For bookseller inquiries, please contact Andrea DeWerd (adewerd@penguinrandomhouse.com).