Novel Spotlights Daily Struggles of Patients and Families

Ana de Barros PhD avatar

by Ana de Barros PhD |

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"You Me Everything" by Catherine Isaac. (Photo courtesy of Huntington's Disease Association)

You Me Everything,” a novel about a single mom whose mother is diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, is helping to raise awareness of the condition. The story is also drawing attention to the struggles of patients and their loved ones.

In writing the novel, British author Catherine Isaac sought the help of the Huntington’s Disease Association (HDA) in the U.K. to accurately depict the challenges of living with Huntington’s.

"You Me Everything"

“You Me Everything” by Catherine Isaac. (Photo courtesy of Huntington’s Disease Association)

Catherine Isaac is the pen name of Jane Costello, a best-selling writer of romantic comedies. “After a decade of writing as Jane Costello, my next book, You Me Everything, will be released under the pseudonym Catherine Isaac,” the author said on her website “Those who’ve been reading my work for the last ten years (thank you if you’re one of them) might be wondering why.

“Quite simply, while You Me Everything has some of the ingredients my readers have come to expect, it stands out from my previous books in a number of ways. Writing it felt special, different, but in all the right ways. And I really hope that reading it will too.”

The story, which is set in the French countryside, observes the life-changing chain of events that encourage Jess to take chances, to forgive, and be bold enough to live her life, for her and for 10-year-old son William.

The novel was inspired by Isaac’s close friend, who has a family member recently diagnosed with Huntington’s.

HDA helped Isaac provide an accurate account of the symptoms and impact the disease can have on families.

“Huntington’s is a very misunderstood illness and there is very little awareness about the disease. You, Me, Everything raises many of the dilemmas faced by families affected by Huntington’s,” Cath Stanley, chief executive at HDA, said. “The importance of accurate information even in fiction cannot be underestimated, so having the opportunity to work with Catherine on this aspect of the book was invaluable.”

The book can be ordered directly from its U.K. publisher, Simon & Schuster, or Amazon in the United States. The author is offering a discount for HDA members in the U.K.; details are available here.


Vickie Micallef avatar

Vickie Micallef

My husband has Huntington's Disease. I have been a care giver for 20 years. The constant stress is now causing problems with my health.

I have found that I need to make constant changes to the environment as well the way in which Mike eats and drinks.

I noticed that he choked when sitting on the couch but not in the office chair. I took photos to show him that he slouched more on the couch. He also choked after we had an altercation or fight. Now he slouches more and has had to stand up to eat. We changed his drinking glasses when he started dropping thing. We bought Mighty Mug - a mug that is difficult to push over or spill.
Watch the video:
That worked and still does, but we wanted something that looked less like a travel mug and found polycarbonate glasses that feel and look like real glass. Next the bed was too low so I added a box spring. The change in height was difficult for his brain to understand. it took 3 days to teach him how to get into and out of bed. And so it goes. A life of constant change.

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