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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Two Mothers, One Prayer: Facing Your Child's Cancer with Hope, Strength, and Courage is co-authored by Laura Lane and Laurie Nersten and is the true, inspiring and touching account of their emotional journeys after their twelve-year-old daughters were diagnosed with the same type of brain tumor – pineoblastoma. Hundreds of miles apart, the mothers found each other through an online support site and quickly developed a true and understanding friendship. Their brave girls, Celeste (Laura’s daughter) and Hayley (Laurie’s daughter) became friends too. The book records the events leading up to the girls’ diagnoses, the grueling treatment regimes they went through, the amazing support from family, friends and world-wide well-wishers and, above all, the astonishing faith that got them through. One child survives, one doesn’t, and the authors describe the various coping techniques, prayer methods, and the types of support that helped them deal with the heart wrenching situation their families found themselves in.
Laura Lane and Laurie Nersten’s well-written book is an inspiration and a great deal more. An open and honest account of Celeste and Hayley’s battles, bravery, triumphs and setbacks, it is a source of real help and strength for other families going through the same trauma. The authors' online messages to each other are used to tell part of the story and show the strength the two gained from their friendship. The strong Christian faith held by both mothers and daughters shines throughout and is a great testimony to the power of prayer, and God’s love. Laura explains the importance of accepting situations and getting support through her technique of reaching out, connecting, reflecting, expressing (finding a creative outlet), and having love for yourself and others. She also stresses the importance of recognizing there will be times of depression and loneliness, a profound effect on the other children in the family, as well as physical exhaustion.
I loved the quotes and useful references to books or resources. Two Mothers, One Prayer is a book written from the heart and it touched my own heart and soul. While difficult to read in parts (due to the sad subject matter) it will, I know, give a great deal to so many families who have a child diagnosed with cancer or other life-threatening illness. It is also a source of insight and understanding for all, and a lesson in how to hold on to hope and faith in the darkest of moments. Recommended.