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 surviving 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. Over the next three years, Matthew’s tics multiply. He becomes clumsy and lethargic, a gifted program dropout. Karen repeatedly tries to get her husband and the pediatrician to open their eyes, but she is too full of self-doubt to tear off their blinders.

Exhausted and full of despair, Karen crumples to the bathroom floor one night, wondering if she has the will to carry on. But she must persevere. Who else will fight for her son?

Matthew finally receives a horrifying diagnosis, but is expected to “bounce back,” and Karen is convinced the battle is over. But the pain drags on, revealing just how weak—and then exactly how strong—she is."

Growth is an intimate look into the life of a people-pleaser, an exploration of the challenges of motherhood, an inspiring story of personal growth.

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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.