Friday, May 4, 2012

The Power of Two

Have you heard of The Power of Two? It's an outstanding book by Ana and Isa Stenzel, half-Japanese, half- German twins with Cystic Fibrosis. This book documents their fight with CF, from birth through both of their lung transplants and the recovery road afterwards. Sometimes, a book has the amazing ability to captivate readers with its language, diction, and phrases used. Ana and Isa have created a book that does just that. Here are some reviews of the book:

I have been glued to my desk for the last three days, unable to separate myself from this wonderful account of medical illness and the amazing story told by these two remarkable sisters. I have just finished the last page with tears filling my eyes. [The Power of Two] is one of the best accounts of illness and coping with it that I have come across... this is a splendid addition to the literature of personal medical experience. -- Dr. Allen B. Weisse, Author of "Lessons in Mortality"

It is the unfortunate habit of books on illness and recovery to rely heavily on sanitized clich├ęs. The downs are very down, the ups sky-high. This honest and carefully observed account avoids preconceived notions of the complicated path toward an organ transplant. Describing the stages of the affliction in detail, it makes you feel you were there, suffering a pain you had heard about but never really visualized, aware that death is no longer just a concept but could come at any time, and experiencing the complex emotions that come with being saved because someone else died. For readers who have not been close to a wasting disease, it will be an eye-opener, horrifying but in the end inspiring, a tale of courage being tested all day and every day. -- Reg Green, Author of "The Nicolas Effect: A Boy's Gift to the World"

One of the hardest and earliest lessons we learn is that life isn't fair. Perhaps for that reason I don't usually take to inspirational books, which often attempt to portray a particular example of misfortune as a special gift, to be appreciated for its character-building qualities, or failing that, for an advantage so mysterious that no mere mortal can discern what it might be. Fortunately, that genre is transcended by The Power of Two, an astonishing account by twin sisters born with a genetic disease that should have killed them in infancy, and almost did. But they survived that and numerous other close calls and are now in their 30's, with degrees from Stanford University, newly transplanted lungs, and a gift for writing that takes us directly into their lives. This is an intimate, brutally honest and compelling memoir. -- Jeffrey Wine, PhD., Professor of Psychology, Pediatrics and Director, Program in Human Biology, Stanford University (from

This makes you want to read it, now doesn't it? I would encourage everyone to pick up The Power of Two and read it this summer. Even if you usually like fiction books better or don't think this will be your kind of book, you will enjoy reading Ana and Isa's story!

In addition, the documentary, The Power of Two is coming to the United States on June 5th. It will be available on cable/satellite Video on Demand (e.g., Comcast, Cox, Time Warner Cable, Dish, DirecTV, etc.) and digital broadband (e.g., iTunes, Amazon). So, you can watch their story, as well! I'm excited to see the documentary. :)

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