A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived

I had never learned to stand up for myself, so I couldn’t speak up for my son.

A memoir. Forthcoming May 2023 from Apprentice House Press.

What happens when the most important job in the world demands more than you have to give?


If you've asked yourself this question, if you've ever failed to speak up when you could have, if you've pushed yourself to the edge of what you think you can survive, this book is for you.

At its core, Growth: A Mother, Her Son, and the Brain Tumor They Survived is about weathering motherhood.

Karen is a happily married, slightly frazzled working mother of two when her eight-year-old son, Matthew, develops a strange eye-rolling tic. Gradually, her high-energy kid becomes clumsy and lethargic, her “Little Einstein” a gifted program dropout. Karen knows something is wrong. But she can't get anyone to listen and lacks the backbone to crack the resistance. After three exhausting, desperate years, finally, an MRI reveals the truth: a brain tumor, squishing Matthew’s brain into a sliver against his skull. Following a delicate surgery, doctors predict a complete recovery. But the damage from the delayed diagnosis prolongs Matthew's recovery, challenging Karen to grow in ways she never imagined.

A fast-paced page-turner told with candor, insight, and wit, Growth takes you on a rollercoaster of painful truths and hard-won transformation.

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Motherhood in hindsight.

Writing my story helped me come to terms with what happened when I was a younger mom lacking the self-awareness and self-confidence to stand up for my son. Having the daily demands of motherhood behind me allowed me to focus on how I became that woman. This "motherhood in hindsight" perspective drives my ongoing personal growth.

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Why share?

I'm not proud of my painful truths. But I share my story because it will embolden others—because it may embolden you—to seek the truth about yourself, to muster the courage for personal growth.

Grow with me.

Change is never easy, but if you stick around, we’ll do the hard work together. If you’d rather fly solo, I wish you the courage to grow on your journey. Either way, I’d love to hear from you! Click here to share your thoughts.