In this heart-wrenching memoir, Ondine shares her desperate quest for a miracle cure for her beautiful twin boys, diagnosed with a very rare genetic condition.
When her daughter was a toddler, Ondine Sherman felt like her life was complete. She was married to a man she adored, had a loving extended family and was living out her dream campaigning for animal protection, having set up the Australian animal advocacy organisation Voiceless.
Delighted to find she was pregnant again, she was shocked to find out she was having twins.
But never in her wildest dreams did Ondine envisage the heartache to come when her twin sons, Dov and Lev, were diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that meant they might never walk or talk.
Miracle of Love is Ondine's intimate account of the rollercoaster ride she experienced as doctors tried to work out why her beloved boys weren't meeting their normal milestones. Along this spiritual journey Ondine deals with her sons' condition and learns to find acceptance and a new understanding of -miracles'.
Ondine Sherman is the mother of three children; a daughter and identical twin sons with a rare genetic disorder. Ondine has a BA in Communications and an MA in Environmental Education. She is the co-founder of the Australian animal advocacy organisation, Voiceless. She currently lives in Tel Aviv.
The Miracle of Love
Allen and Unwin
Author: Ondine Sherman
Question: Why did you decide to write The Miracle of Love?
Ondine Sherman: Writing the book was a really amazing way for me to process everything I had gone through. Somehow putting it all on paper helped me to better come to terms with some of the traumatic experiences. I also wanted to share my story with others because I had read many books about other people's journeys that had touched me and helped me feel that I was not alone.
Question: Was it difficult to relive moments of your life, when writing The Miracle of Love?
Ondine Sherman: Yes, I found it really hard to write some of the scenes and had to push myself through it. Like the part about the first doctor I went to; he was so insensitive and I was not expecting or ready to hear the terrible news that he gave me. Many times as I was writing, I had tears rolling down my cheek.
Question: Can you share with us details about the rare genetic condition your twin sons have?
Ondine Sherman: I still find their condition hard to explain. Basically the thyroid hormone doesn't enter into their brain like it should, which prevents normal brain development. This leads to all kinds of problems including being very low tone or 'floppy'.
Question: What have you learnt whilst writing this memoir?
Ondine Sherman: Whilst writing the memoir I have learnt how important it is to have an outlet for one's emotions - art (writing, music, painting etc) is a wonderful way to express things that may be hard to say out loud. I have also realised how much I enjoy writing and would love to continue doing so, exploring other genres and topics.
Question: Can you share with us some more information on Voiceless?
Ondine Sherman: Voiceless is working towards making animal protection the next great social justice movement. Animals are still considered as 'property' under the law and have no more rights than a chair. They need to rather be considered as living sentient beings who have complex needs, feel pain and joy and a full range of emotions and deserve respect and quality of life. I always remember how amazed I was when I learnt how mother pigs sing to their young and build them elaborate nests to keep them comfortable. There is still so much we don't know or understand about animals. Animal-lovers can 'like' us on facebook or follow us on twitter, see www.voiceless.org.au
Interview by Brooke Hunter