Soon after starting her book, I sent an email to Julie Obradovic:
I'm in tears and enraged and on the edge of my seat reading your book. It's taken a few sittings to get any reading done (things are insanely busy here), but wow. I cannot stop reading.
About a month earlier, Julie had asked me if I might be interested in writing a review of her soon-to-be released book, An Unfortunate Coincidence: A Mother’s Life Inside the Autism Controversy. Thrilled to be asked, I couldn’t wait to read it and tell her what I thought of it.
I remember the day that Julie told me she’d gotten a book deal – I’m sure Julie was very excited, but I was over the moon ecstatic! Always an eloquent writer, I couldn’t wait to read more of what she had to share. Now that it was time to finally read it, getting through Julie’s book in one sitting just wasn’t happening. With all the demands being placed on me at home, I knew that I’d have to go elsewhere to concentrate.
Setting aside several hours one day, I headed to the library. I found a quiet corner and continued to read. Not intending to put the book down, I’d only gotten a few more pages read when I took a break. I sent another email to Julie sharing how difficult it was for me to read her story:
I want to stop. This is truly painful for me to read because your story is so eerily similar, like almost exactly the same medical timeline of medical issues and the autism discovery - not to mention the same type of dismissive doctors and the anxiety and the feeling like you're in the Twilight Zone - it is so hard to read. But I'm pushing some emotions aside and will continue, not just to get the review done, but also because I want to know more. I know what you've written will help so many.
No doubt that it will. No doubt that it already has!
Late last week, Amazon began delivering An Unfortunate Coincidence to those who pre-ordered a copy. A few days earlier than the expected November 1st release date, people are sharing that they, too, have had a chance to read the book. Worth noting, they are sharing only positive responses.
Positive responses. Those sure do beat the negative responses that Julie and so many other parents of vaccine-injured children have had to deal with over the years. Julie recounts several unfortunate experiences that she, her daughter, and her family have gone through. From the chronic ear infections, to the overly prescribed antibiotics, to the excessive vaccines, to the disrespectful providers she encountered while trying to get help for her daughter, to her daughter’s autism diagnosis she feared was looming, Julie goes beyond just telling her family’s story.
Throughout the book, Julie provides historic data that many close to the autism controversy are surely already familiar. For those who may be unfamiliar, Julie carefully and factually introduces and outlines important events and key individuals that readers new to the topic can easily follow and understand. Going back to the beginning, Julie begins with Dr. Kanner and his discovery of autism in the early 1940s. She shares the shocking Bruno Bettelheim and his suggestion that mothers of children with autism were homicidal in the late 1960s. She makes sure to also add today’s industry spokesman, Dr. Offit, who always eagerly insists that vaccines have nothing to do with autism even though so many parents know that they do.
Since vaccines did play a role in Julie’s daughter’s diagnosis, Julie discusses this topic further. Providing a great amount of information for her readers to consider, she references doctors like Dr. Bernard Rimland who believed in the parents and their concerns. Julie includes significant details from the work of other great authors, like David Kirby, who’ve also covered the autism-vaccine link. Always with other parents in mind, Julie generously shares an abundance of knowledge about vaccines to include when the vaccine industry gained a free pass to produce sub-par products as well as describes when and why the US “Vaccine Court” was established.
When reading the timeline of the rise of the autism epidemic and how it relates to the United States’ inflated vaccine schedule - thanks in part to the corruption recently discovered in the CDC – I couldn’t help but agree with Julie’s use of the phrase “disabling of a generation” in a section of the book titled The Resistance:
For years, according to the story, parents worked behind the scenes to uncover what the CDC had suspected since the late 1990s: that they had made a catastrophic oversight error that led to the disabling of a generation. – page 125
I’ve lost sleep over that catastrophic oversight that could’ve been avoided. I know quite a few parents who also have. The CDC has yet to take ownership of it, but how can they?
When left to investigate themselves, however, they concluded they weren’t guilty. Their suspicious behavior, illogical findings, and internal correspondence showed otherwise. Their behavior and their science, not the merit of vaccines, were and still are at the heart of the controversy. – page 125
As the parent of a child with a severe vaccine injury, I was already familiar with much of what Julie had written. Replace her name with mine, replace her daughter’s name with my son’s name, and I was reading my own life story. After doing that a few times while reading, I sent off another message to Julie:
As hard as this has been today (I'm in the library trying not to let anyone see me and my big ugly crying), thank you. Thanks for asking me to help with the review. I'm about one third of the way through now... I knew it would tug at my heart - and oh, boy has it ever! I just needed to have enough time to sit and process everything knowing your writing would evoke deep emotions. That happened today at the library of all places :)
Despite being told that what had happened to her daughter couldn’t be linked to anything in particular, especially not vaccines, this next quote from the book hit home.
“It’s an unfortunate coincidence,” I heard someone once say. That parents were noticing their children’s autism at the time of their vaccinations was an unfortunate coincidence. It was essentially the same message here. – page 132
It is so unfortunate that so many parents have been told that exact same same thing. It happened to parents like Julie and also to me. We talked ourselves out of trusting our natural instinct, and instead, we ended up trusting someone who never had our child’s best interest at heart.
Educated parents who had followed their doctor’s orders to a T and ended up with a brain-damaged child anyway simply didn’t trust the CDC, the medical leadership, or the pharmaceutical industry with their children’s health any longer. – page 151
I won’t give away the end, but in my final email to another mom who’s lived through what no mom ever should, I wanted Julie to know just how good her book was. I also wanted her to know that she, one of the most prolific writers to come out of the autism epidemic, continues to give me hope:
It's good. You've inspired me (as you always do!) and reminded me to make some changes I've been putting off. You have what I desperately want for Ronan - a recovery story. It's taken years of hard work, I know, for you guys to get there but if it's attainable for others, then it can be also for Ronan. It's just taking us so dang long to get there. I'll never give up on him, that's for sure!
Julie never gave up. She fought and fought and fought, and even though her daughter’s on this side of health now, Julie has not walked away from the fight.
Keeping true to a promise she made years ago, Julie became a beacon to other parents. She continues to shine a light where others, those who can help and who should help, don’t. What a gift Julie’s been. With the proceeds from her book going to Generation Rescue, she and her story will continue to be a gift to many.
This isn’t just a memoir but a reference book that any and every parent contemplating vaccines should have at their fingertips. I’d encourage parents, teachers, therapists and medical providers who work with a child on the spectrum to read this book. I’d also encourage anyone who wishes to see the autism controversy come to an end to purchase this book. Your contribution very well could help a child live a life free from the struggles too many children today are living.
Cathy Jameson is a Contributing Editor for Age of Autism.