“This book is a testament to the extraordinary depth, powers, and resiliency of children’s spirits.” —Marion Wright Edelman, president, Children’s Defense Fund
If I Get to Five is a one-of-a-kind book by a one-of-a-kind human being. The medical world knows him as Fred Epstein, M.D., the neurosurgeon who pioneered life-saving procedures for previously inoperable tumors in children. His patients and their families know him simply as Dr. Fred, the “miracle man” who has extended them both a healing hand and an open heart.
Throughout his career Epstein’s young patients have been his most important teachers and trusted guides. They are children who—often by sheer force of will—have refused to relinquish life and all its gifts. In this inspiring book, these children teach us the lessons we all need to learn in order to live life to the fullest—lessons about seizing the moment and facing our deepest fears, about embracing the joy and wonder of everyday life. Most of all, they teach lessons about uncommon courage—the courage to do what’s hardest, to believe in what we don’t understand, to love without boundaries.
If I Get to Five takes us inside a world unlike any other, from the high-stakes, high-tech operating room where life and death are separated by a heartbeat to the sickrooms and recovery rooms where parents discover the limits and power of their faith. But most compelling of all is the journey inside the hearts, minds, and souls of the wisest children you will ever encounter.
No one who reads this remarkable book will ever look at children—or adversity—in the same way.