In Spite Of . . .
How I Survived Abuse, Cancer,
and a Giant F@#%ing Stroke
Mary Reid-Hill, the word “no” means surrender. It means life on the couch. It means dying a slow death. So never tell Mary that she can’t do something. Because she’ll do everything in her power to prove you wrong.
Mary entered “adulthood” with a load of problems to unpack, including a twisted, abusive childhood; a misguided teen marriage; and a cancer diagnosis at the tender age of 22. Somehow, in spite of it all, she used her skills as a visual artist to carve out a career in the male-dominated world of sign design and installation.
But life wasn’t done testing her. At age 38, at the peak of her success, she suffered a major stroke which left her with essentially half her brain and body capacity. For more than 15 years, she has defied doctors, therapists, and even friends and family to stubbornly and relentlessly find her own equilibrium and happiness, “in spite of” all of her health challenges, psychological roadblocks and spiritual upheaval.
But that’s just Mary.
And now, she’s sharing her remarkable story in her inspirational memoir, In Spite Of . . . How I Survived Abuse, Cancer, and a Giant F@#%ing Stroke, as told to David Tabatsky—author, co-author and/or editor of more than thirty books, covering a vast range of subjects. For more information on David, please visit his website at: www.tabatsky.com.
Mary’s approach is refreshingly candid and infused with humor as she chronicles a series of life events that would emotionally cripple most people, including her messed- up childhood, two bad marriages, the devastating stroke, her battles with weight and insurance companies, and the death of her husband. Through it all, her no-nonsense prose underscores why she’s become a living example of what the human spirit is ultimately all about and how, in spite of it all, she’s still here.
Mary was born and raised in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and still lives there today, on the corner of Hope and Humor. For the past 17 years, Mary has been unable to hold down a job, due to a disability stemming from her stroke. However, she remains as active as possible, renovating her home, refinishing furniture and continuing her main passion––drawing. Her memoir includes 15 original drawings, some of which she created before the stroke, and several after, when she had to teach herself to draw all over again, this time with her left hand. On top of that, Mary cares for two dogs and occasionally her two closest sisters.
When Mary Reid-Hill was 38 years old, she had an enormous freaking stroke (that’s not the exact scientific name), which essentially left her battling for her life. This crisis followed a twisted childhood, a teenage marriage, and a diagnosis of cancer at age 22—leaving Mary to cope with a new set of challenges with half a brain and a seriously compromised body. “In Spite Of” all the the health challenges, psychological roadblocks, and spiritual upheaval, Mary has persevered—defying doctors, therapists, and insurance companies, all of whom underestimated her grit, optimism, and humor, three tools that have served her best during her 15+ years of recovery. Her story has value for anyone because it will surely grab a piece of you and take you on a worthwhile ride.
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