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It all began when the Geismans’ son, Mike, was born with numerous fractures, some of which had occurred in the womb before birth. The cause was osteogenesis imperfecta (OI), a genetic disorder that, at the time, was thought to be so rare that the only information the delivering physician could provide was a brief description in a medical textbook.

Wanting to share their story about living with this rare disorder, Gemma recounts Mike’s life experiences, from his birth to his growing up years, describing with candid detail how caring for Mike was like handling an extremely fragile china doll. She illustrates the difficulties of the lonely, early years, the ambivalent and upsetting feelings and the reluctance to let go as Mike struggled to live a normal and independent life.

Believing that her family’s experiences with the disease were too valuable not to be shared, Gemma tells of her attempts to get her story published, breaking through finally with a story and two follow-up pieces in Redbook magazine. Gemma also shares how she established, together with other parents, the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation (OIF), the only national organization that sponsors research and serves families affected by OI.

From the Seeds of Sadness is a poignant story of unconditional love, of joys and sorrows, and of lessons learned. It recounts the Geisman family’s journey through the complexities of raising a “breakable baby“, how they conquered fear and anguish and turned what they thought to be an agonizing burden into a gift of hope for generations to come. Heart wrenching but inspiring, this memoir is a symbol of courage and hope for others who are facing the difficult challenges of raising a child with an incurable illness

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