The Forever Fix is a ClassBrain "must read."
The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and The Boy Who Saved It is a book by Ricki Lewis on gene therapy and the children responsible for the progress that has been made over the past decade. Most science books are less than accessible to the average reader, especially when the subject is a complicated one such as gene therapy. In the case of The Forever Fix, however, Ricki Lewis has done an amazing job at making the material accessible, the science understandable, and the story compelling.
If more science books were written like The Forever Fix, a lot more science books would be read. Ricki Lewis has an amazing ability to make the issues clear and understandable, and she has found the heart and soul of the science and brought it into the history of the issues. By explaining the eagerness of a family to find a cure for their dying child, you get a much better sense of why things are done the way they are done. When you walk through a week of grueling tests on a child, you can understand why the child finally has a say in whether or nor they can call "Uncle" and say they've had enough, even if the researchers feel they need more data.
If you have anyone in your family who has Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer's, or any rare genetic disorder you must read The Forever Fix. Ricki gives a phenomenal history of the art and science of gene therapy, a close look at how some of the groups that have been successful at pushing gene therapy forward in their areas of specialty, and her analysis of why gene therapy is not on the list for the future in some areas. All together, The Forever Fix adds up to a primer on how to navigate the system and what sort of fortitude of spirit it takes to force the system to take another step forward. After you have read The Forever Fix, pass on your copy to friends who are also facing challenges in these arenas. This book makes the issues at hand so accessible, even teenagers will be able to get a handle on the complex issues surrounding the diseases currently being treated with gene therapy, or those that could potentially be treated with gene therapy.
Until we can convince politicians to push gene therapy forward, or convince the pharmaceutical companies that it's in their best interest to actually cure some of these horrific diseases; (A difficult sale when they make so much money treating them, instead of curing them.) we may not make the significant steps forward in gene therapy that we should be making.
I have rarely made such a strong recommendation on a book, but I truly think that everyone should read The Forever Fix and understand where we stand in relationship to this critical scientific technique, which could and should have such a huge impact in the health of those around us in the near future.