Monday, October 10, 2011

Review and Giveaway: The Next Fifteen Minutes by Kim Kircher

Strength From the Top of the Mountain
By Kim Kircher

Kim Kircher lived life hanging onto the edge of a mountain. When she wasn’t rescuing wounded skiers as a member of the ski patrol or bombing snow-congested mountainsides to control avalanches, she and her husband, John, were proving to the world that a full life was possible in spite of each living with an autoimmune disorder. Their days were full of early morning runs on perfect powder, slicing through the stellar crystals to the envy of holiday skiers.

When John’s congenital liver condition – primary sclerosing cholangitis – approached the terminal phase, Kim was determined to use all of her mountain-borne skills to save him and return them to the adventurous life they both loved. But as his condition worsened and their worst fears became a reality, she knew that it would take more than tenacity. Without a liver transplant, John had nine months to live.

THE NEXT FIFTEEN MINUTES (Behler Publications, October 2011) offers a rare glimpse into the strange and fascinating world of a ski area professional, where steep terrain and deep snow, the twin fuels that run the business, teach patrollers how to get through the worst trials just fifteen minutes at a time. Kim seized the EMT training that helped her avoid panic when a fallen skier had to be delicately lifted from a tree to manage the life-and-death situation facing her husband.

As radiation therapy made John grow sicker it became obvious that he would not have the two to three years necessary to receive a liver from a deceased donor. The race to save John’s life became a gathering avalanche that Kim desperately tried to brake as volunteer after volunteer was rejected as a donor.

Desperate to save John, Kim joined the ranks of potential donors, but lurking behind the scenes was her juvenile diabetes. In spite of her expertise in managing her condition, her body simply could not handle the rigors of such surgery. She had survived avalanches, insulin shock in the sub-zero cold and skiing down the treacherous face of Crystal – but she couldn’t save her husband’s life.

When all seemed lost, hope arrived in the person of a formerly rejected donor whose personal health improvements made him an ideal candidate. But was it too late? Had the cancer spread and could John’s body, burned by radiation, handle the delicate and difficult surgery? They would know the answer in the next 15 minutes.

Strength From the Top of the Mountain
By Kim Kircher
Behler Publications, October 2011
ISBN 978-1-933016-11-5
260 Pages

Kim Kircher's life has always been a bit of a balancing act. As a member of the ski patrol, she always has to balance her own safety with her ability to keep other people alive and well. On top of this, Kim has diabetes, so keeping her activity and blood sugars balanced is sometimes very difficult. Kim managed to keep things running fairly smoothly until her husband John's health began to decline. He had a liver disease, and this soon put him in a critical state. John desperately needed a liver transplant. Now they had to search for a living donor as trying to get a liver from a deceased donor would take longer than John had. Kim must used every bit of knowledge she's gained from her life and experiences on the mountains to help cope with what is happening. 

This book was so inspirational! At first I thought I would have a hard time reading it because I did not understand skiing terminology. While the author tries to explain everything, I had a really hard time with it. However, I soon found myself having a fairly good understanding of what was going on, which made things so much easier to understand. I was incredibly moved by the story. Seeing Kim struggle with the realities of her husband's medical problems was sad yet heartwarming. She had so many things that helped her cope, and I think everyone can learn from those same coping strategies. One of the main ones as learning to take things in 15 minute intervals. In general the time interval is not the important part, but learning to take things one step at a time very helpful.

This would be wonderful book for anyone struggling with hard times, but it will probably be most helpful for people who are dealing with medical issues. It will help give inspiration and comfort. It would be a wonderful gift to give someone whose loved one has just received a difficult diagnosis or even just someone who wants an uplifting story that brings peace and comfort. It is beautifully written, and I'm sure it will help many people.

Book provided for review.

Check out the giveaway after the break!

I have one copy of this book to giveaway. The only required entry is to leave your name and e-mail in the Rafflecopter widget. Bonus entries will be given for following on GFC, following on Twitter, liking my new Facebook page, and tweeting about the giveaway (if you want to put up a message on Facebook, that's ok too). That's a lot of chances to win! 

Because I am mailing this, it will be open to the US only. This giveaway will run from Oct. 10th to Oct. 31st. Thanks for stopping by and good luck!

1 comment:

oblivious said...

I think I would buy this just because it sounds fabulous.