Foreword


Infinitely proud to be Arlene’s husband and Adam’s dad

By James Martell

I have listened to Arlene talk about writing this book for years and am so proud that her tireless efforts have come to fruition. This book has the potential to help hundreds of thousands of people who may be as scared and confused as we once were and who want to be able to relate to someone who has weaved their way through the maze of information and medical specialists out there – with positive results.

I have watched her unwavering commitment to Adam and her immeasurable patience as she attended countless conferences and meetings, preparing a 10-inch high binder full of information and spending limitless hours on the phone with other parents – all with the hopes of making Adam’s life better and the lives of others enduring this frightening plight better by showing that there is real hope.

I watched her join forces with Laura and form Fraser Valley Epilepsy Society and pull together large conferences where she would speak and tell her story courageously to several hundred people, always with a single goal: to show others that there is real hope.

I have watched Arlene also talk about Epilepsy on local Cable television and radio talk shows with immeasurable love and pride for all she has done and continues to do for Adam, for our entire family, and for others who are punching their way through this difficult, frustrating fight.

I watched Arlene with the Ketogenic diet, measuring every gram of Adam’s food for 5 years. The dedication to that diet alone was nothing short of amazing. She would pack up the waffle iron to go to Disneyland and when we got there, go out and do special grocery shopping for Adam.

I watched as she would drive into the city one hour each way to take Adam to special appointments for so many years, always with hope for a better way and a better life for Adam and for our entire family.

Truly, Arlene is the very definition of love, commitment, loyalty, and patience.

Looking back, I know that Adam may have tested us all, but he also taught us love and, most of all, patience. As I write this today, I realize I wouldn’t change a thing. Sure, I would love to have made things easier, more the “norm,” for my family and especially for Adam. But my families “norm” is not that of others, instead, it is a treasure, a true miracle, if you will, and I couldn’t be prouder of us all.

And, looking back, I have to admit that my family has been on an adventure, rocky and uncertain at times, but one that now boasts a happy ending, for Adam and for the rest of us.

You see, I watched helplessly as a bad situation got worse, almost unbearable, at times. And, today, to have it all turn around brings more than relief. It brings an overwhelming sense of pride and of victory!

Yes, we won!

Adam is not perfect, but he is happy. He has a great life and he lives day-to-day. His life is simple and full of things that make him feel and radiate his special joy.

The way he lives and interacts, it is something we should all strive for.

The truth is that all you have to do is try. In fact, this book is for people who want to try. They must be willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done. And, they have to believe that, no matter how bad things may seem, there is always room for improvement – and there is ALWAYS hope!

Just ask Arlene.

I encourage you to read the book cover-to-cover and have an open mind and an open heart as you devour our story.

There may be information in here that challenges conventional wisdom, for we have been taught to just keep our mouths closed and listen to the doctors.

Thankfully, Arlene was tenacious. She was steadfast and determined and never gave up hope.

I grin now as I remember watching her learn how to stand up to the doctors and hold them accountable for everything they said and did. I watched her ask questions and when the answers weren’t available or didn’t seem to work in Adam’s favor, she dug deeper.

Arlene also learned that, as a parent, one of her biggest challenges was navigating through the bureaucracy of a school system successfully. And, as with all challenges my wife faces, she overcame this with persistence, good sense and the belief that there must be a better way of doing things.

It is with great pride that I write this foreword for Arlene. I am so proud of her for the fight she put up, for the hope she never let go of, and, most of all, for being the amazing woman, wife, mother and friend that she is every single day.

This book took guts, something Arlene has in spades. It is an eye-opening glimpse into an industry; a look at the drug companies and their motivations. Most of all, the book is a look at simple alternatives.

It is a true recounting of how Arlene took Adam, who was pale, sleepy, weak, frustrated, discouraged and rightfully enraged – overall just very, very sick, to the remarkable young man he is today – vibrant, happy and full of life!

Like Arlene herself, Adam glows and he touches so many people’s lives. I am always, always taken aback by Adam’s amazing attitude and abilities and how he effortlessly enriches so many people’s lives.

Adam is a miracle that blossomed from hope and from Arlene’s rock-solid belief that out there was a better life for our son and for others just like him.

Hope. Truly, that’s what it is all about…