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Alex: The Life of a Child [Paperback]

By Frank Deford (Author)
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Item Number 93066  
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Item description for Alex: The Life of a Child by Frank Deford...

ollowing a battle against cystic fibrosis, the #1 genetic killer of children. Her poignant and uplifting story touched the hearts of millions when it was first published and then made into a memorable TV movie. In a new Introduction, her father summarizes some of the developments made in combating the disease and tells how the family has come to terms with her loss. Illustrations.

Publishers Description

Alexandra Deford, a precious and precocious girl, was just eight years old when she died in 1980 following a battle against the debilitating effects of cystic fibrosis, the number-one genetic killer of children. Her poignant and uplifting story touched the hearts of millions when it was first published and then made into a memorable television movie. A new introduction contains information on the latest cystic fibrosis research, and a touching postcript reveals how the Deford family came to terms with the loss of Alex.

Whenever he speaks, sportswriter Frank Deford knows people will bring articles for him to sign. But what makes him happiest is when someone attends a sports-oriented lecture and brings a copy of "Alex: The Life of a Child "for him to sign. "Invariably, and happily, there's usually someone at each appearance who either brings that book or wants to talk about their connection to cystic fibrosis." Deford says. "It's tremendously gratifying to me. Rarely does a week go by that I don't get a letter about that book. People leave things at her grave. They really do. I have people tell me that she changed their lives. It's terribly dramatic, but they literally say that. I heard from a woman who became a pediatric nurse after reading the book. Hearing from people like that means more to me than anything."

Citations And Professional Reviews
Alex: The Life of a Child by Frank Deford has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -

  • New York Times - 02/01/1998 page 28

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Thomas Nelson
Pages   227
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 6" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.8 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 1997
Publisher   Thomas Nelson
ISBN  1558535527  
ISBN13  9781558535527  
UPC  031869005523  

Availability  142 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 10:02.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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More About Frank Deford

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! The author of eighteen books, Frank Deford has worked in virtually every medium. He is senior contributing writer at "Sports Illustrated, " where his byline first appeared in 1962. A weekly commentator for NPR's "Morning Edition," he is also a regular correspondent on the HBO show "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel." As a journalist, Deford has won the National Magazine Award for profiles, and has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. Voted by his peers as U.S. Sportswriter of the Year six times, he was also cited by "The American Journalism Review" as the nation's finest sportswriter and was twice voted Magazine Writer of the Year by the "Washington Journalism Review." He has been presented with a Christopher Award and awards for distinguished service to journalism from the University of Missouri and Northeastern University. Deford and Red Smith are the only authors with more than one piece in "The Best American Sportswriting of the Century," edited by David Halberstam. For his radio and TV work, Deford has won both an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award.

Frank Deford currently resides in Westport, in the state of Connecticut.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Arts & Literature > Authors
2Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
3Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Professionals & Academics > Medical
4Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > General
5Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > Specific Groups > Women
6Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > Disorders & Diseases > Cystic Fibrosis
7Books > Subjects > Health, Mind & Body > General
8Books > Subjects > Medicine > Specialties > Pediatrics > General
9Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Current Events > Poverty > Social Services & Welfare
10Books > Subjects > Parenting & Families > Family Health

Christian Product Categories
Books > Inspiration > Motivation > Biography & Autobiography

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Reviews - What do customers think about Alex: The Life of a Child?

Very personal for me  Jun 25, 2008
I watched the excellent TV movie made of this book when I was around 8 and then read the book over and over, until it fell apart. It absolutely broke my heart. When I was in high school and I met my first husband, I found out that he had lost a stepbrother to cystic fibrosis, who made it to the age of 18 before he died. Years later, my first husband still had the things Scotty willed to him, a poster and all of his Weird Al tapes (the Make a Wish Foundation helped Scotty to meet Weird Al at a concert and got to go backstage, shortly before he died). His remaining stepbrother, shortly after we married, married a woman with three children. Her youngest, a daughter, had severe CF. We loved her dearly, and was devastated when she died, like Alex, at the age of 8.
This is a heartbreaking book, but it's worth it. After you're done reading the book, donate money to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Another heartbreaking story on their site explains why they use roses on a lot of their promotional materials. A mother on the Board of Directors who had several kids with cystic fibrosis, was overheard by her toddler son on a phone call. He was too young to understand what she was saying, and too young to know he had a fatal disease, so he asked his mother what "sixty-five roses" meant. Many children now call CF "sixty five roses" and that's why the CF Foundation uses rose imagery.
Alex from bookrescue  Jul 3, 2007
excellent service. book received in excellent condition, just as described. would definitely order through bookrescue again.
Not easy...  May 30, 2007
As the father of an 8 year old daughter with CF (who even sorta looks like Alex), you can imagine that this is not an easy read for me. I read it once 8 years ago, when she was diagnosed, and it was bad....I have tried to re-read it again 8 years later and it's even harder to get through. Not a day goes by where I don't think about that I most likely will have to go thru what Frank did.
I"m not sure i'll be able to handle it. My optimism that there will be a cure in time has dwindled to stark reality that it's not likely to happen soon enough. Thank you Frank for writing this, at least I know i'm not alone.
God Bless Alex  Jan 28, 2007
After supporting Cystic Fibrosis as one of my personal charities for many years, I saw this book in a used book store and bought it. I didn't read it for some time. In fact, it was after I met a family who had a son with CF. I became friends with him - and only a few months later, close to his 21st birthday, he was gone. Then I read the book.. I must say, this is a heartbreaker - but Alex is such an amazing young girl! Written from the experiences of a father watching this terrible disease take his little girl. I strongly recommend reading - and then reaching out to your local Cystic Fibrosis Chapter.
Loved it and hated it  Sep 13, 2006
My daughter was diagnosed with CF 4 months ago at the age of 2.5 yrs. I was immediately drawn to books written from the parent perspective (it seems most are written by young adults who have it), and I first read "From a Taste of Salt" and then "Alex".

I mostly loved this book; I love how well Deford delves into the psychological aspects (of ALL the family) of having a child in the house with this disease. I can easily picture in my dealings with my own daughter many of the conversations with Alex he relates.

There are two things I disliked. One is that he really over-makes Alex to be a saint. Everyone says my daughter is so sweet and so good at taking her medicines and therapy and yadda yadda, but would you ever say the OPPOSITE to a parent with a sick child? My daughter is still a toddler and no saint, but Deford leaves out most of the day-to-day "normal" parts of her life that would show her regular humanity instead of her sainthood.

Secondly, It became obvious at times that Deford was, unfortunately, projecting some of his own thoughts, feelings, and memories onto Alex's actions. I do not blame him for this one bit, considering the great devistation it is to lose a child and then try to write about it. But for some reason it really annoyed me.

Overall an excellent book, and I recommend it to any parent with a newly diagnosed child struggling through the emotional and psychological steps of accepting CF. You find out that you are not alone in your many confusing thoughts. I only wish he had perhaps been a more religious man, and touched on the acceptance of this disease from God.

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