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Living with a chronic illness

The View from the Bay, KGO-TV/DT—San Francisco—June 19, 2009

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness is decidedly life-altering, but the experience does not have to be an isolating one. A new book, written as a dual memoir, chronicles the journey Alida Brill and her doctor, Michael Lockshin, MD, of Hospital for Special Surgery, undertook in her treatment and plan to live on her terms in spite of her illness.

The book, “Dancing at the River’s Edge: A Patient and her Doctor Negotiate Life with Chronic Illness,” is co-authored by the two and follows their unique journey together in a life that is marked by illness, but not defined by it.

“I have lived my entire life with autoimmune disease, but I have refused to let it be my definition of self,” said Brill. “I think that’s my message in this book and surely the message of my wonderful doctor, Michael Lockshin, - it’s a dual memoir, where we say we are not lupus, or MS.”

The dual memoir is a personal look inside the world of their relationship, including the day-to-day struggles endured by a patient with chronic illness, as well as the deep concerns of the doctor who is engaged in the decisions to help his patients maintain a reasonably “normal” and full life.

“When Dr. Lockshin and I realized that we’d been a team for 30 years, we had something we had to give back and we had to show that there is a model where a doctor and a patient can have a dialogue and be team players - on the same team,” Brill said. “That’s what the book is about. It’s a book of hope.”


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