Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Review: Shadow Summit - One Man, His Diagnosis, and the Road to a Vibrant Life

I have had multiple sclerosis for 27 years and confess that I'm a little cynical when someone publishes a new book. Too many books about multiple sclerosis claim to have a cure. But Jon's story is so much more realistic about approaching life in a balanced way that I was truly inspired.  In a very heartfelt way he discusses coming to terms with multiple sclerosis. This is not giving up or giving in, but rather a deep acceptance of his reality, which then enabled him to thrive and now has a truly vibrant life with MS.

As an athletic, energetic 27-year-old man finishing his Masters degree at MIT, Jon was given a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.  The story captures the heart wrenching unpredictability of the disease and the corresponding fear for the future. This book takes the reader on a thrill ride as he describes his mountain climbing, biking, and marathon experiences in an attempt to outrun his MS diagnosis.  

Unfortunately, MS eventually catches up with him, and he experiences some very severe symptoms.  He then explored ways to improve his condition and manage his symptoms through a raw diet, detox, and emotional healing through the Optimum Health Institute in San Diego, an organization devoted to holistic healing of the body, mind, and spirit.   

What makes this book different from other MS stories is that Jon has chosen a balanced approach to optimum health. He does not claim that there is one solution that will cure MS. Rather he has achieved overall wellness through a holistic regimen focusing on mind, body, spirit, emotion, diet, exercise, detox, and meditation, in addition to mainstream MS medication (Copaxone).

This is a shining example of the healing that comes from making peace with multiple sclerosis. Instead of fighting against it, Jon chose to acknowledge his situation, and therefore was able to move forward and create a vibrant life in spite of MS.  I find that inspiring.