What do you do when the “experts” have no answers or solutions for you? If the problem is something simple, like your car making a weird noise, the answer is easy. You take it to another mechanic.
What do you do when your child isn’t developing as fast as other children and the doctors not only have no idea what is wrong with him, but also have no suggestions on how to move forward, how to help him? With courage and determination, risking everything, Stephen Gallup and his wife Judy went to astounding lengths for their son.
Often, when reading a memoir or biography, I attempt to put myself in the subject’s shoes, pondering whether or not I would take the same steps that they did. I couldn’t even fathom what Stephen, Judy, and Joseph faced, yet was in awe that they were able to continue to sacrifice and move forward everyday into the the unknown. I mean, when you have a child, you tell yourself that you just want him or her to have ten fingers and toes, but inside you want so much more for them. What do you do when everything you dream about for them isn’t possible in the eyes of modern medicine? Do you give up? How could you?
Stephen Gallup and his wife refused to give up, refused to accept that Joseph couldn’t be “normal”, and continued to have big dreams for their son against all odds. They showed a determination to move beyond that I am not sure that I could muster myself, yet what choice did they have?
They took risks, with therapies, their future, their family’s approval, really with everything to not give up on Joseph and that is the beauty of this book. Nothing was more important than getting Joseph walking, talking, going to school. They refused to give up on him.
What About the Boy? is a profile in courage that is often hard to read. I can’t even imagine what it was to live through. There are parts of it that drag a bit, just as I am sure that the events did in the Gallup’s own struggle, but in the end, there is an accepted triumph that was worth all of the sacrifices. This family fought a battle pretty much alone and they should have had to. We expect modern medicine to have just about all of the answers and they don’t. We think that if they don’t have the answers, that we should just give up and we shouldn’t.
The Gallups never gave up on Joseph and none of us should ever just blindly accept that there are no answers.
What About the Boy? by Stephen Gallup
- Paperback: 376 pages
- Publisher: Lestrygonian Books (September 1, 2011)
- ISBN-10: 0615431534
- ISBN-13: 978-0615431536