We received a complimentary copy of the Bella’s Gift by Rick & Karen Santorum for our review. All opinions are our own.
Rick and Karen Santorum share the inspiring story of life with their special-needs youngest child.
On May 13, 2008, the Santorum family welcomed their seventh child into the world. Isabella Maria was born with a rare genetic condition called Trisomy 18, or Edward’s Syndrome. Only 10 percent of children with Trisomy 18 are born alive, and 90 percent of those children do not make it to their first birthday. Faced with these bleak statistics, doctors told the family to prepare for Bella’s death. Instead, they chose to celebrate her life.
Over the next five miraculous years, the Santorum family adjusted to life with a special needs girl—and watched her transform the lives of everyone around her. In many days of sickness and joy, she became an inspiration to her community and, ultimately, to the nation. Bella’s Gift details the peaks and valleys, the joys and sufferings, and the incredible value of life with a special needs child. In a world that often measures worth according to usefulness, Bella’s story is a reminder that our real value lies in our capacity to love.
About the Authors
Rick Santorum, a native of Pennsylvania, was a candidate for the Republican nomination for president of the United States in 2012. He served in the House of Representatives from 1991 to 1995 and in the Senate from 1995 to 2007 and is the author of several books, including the 2005 New York Times bestseller It Takes a Family. Rick’s most important role and love in life is being a husband and father.
Karen Santorum is a former neonatal nurse and attorney. She is the author of Letters to Gabriel and Everyday Graces: A Child’s Book of Good Manners. Karen and her husband, Rick, are the parents of eight children. Her greatest role and love in life is being a full-time mother at home.
Elizabeth Santorum, graduated magna cum laude from the University of Dallas. During the 2012 Republican presidential primary, she spent a year campaigning on behalf of her father, Senator Rick Santorum. Appearing on CNN, Fox News, NBC, and many other news outlets at twenty years old, she became one of the campaign’s most requested surrogate speakers. Elizabeth has spent time doing mission work in Uganda, is currently a John Jay Fellow, and has always been a great big sister.
When I first saw the write up about the book, I was concerned that the story may revolve too much around Rick Santorum and his political career and not his daughter and family. I was proved wrong as soon as I started reading this book! This book focuses on Rick & Karen’s daughter Isabella and their other children and the unexpected journey their lives were about to encounter.
Bella was born with Trisomy 18 and wasn’t expected to live a very long time. This family has endured so many battles both medically and personally. Bella is an amazing young lady and has proved that miracles do exist.
One quote of Karen’s is so simple yet so true, “There is no greater joy in life than to be a mother. It is the most important job I will ever have”.
Throughout this book, you will find scripture references, pictures of Bella and their family and most importantly you will find a story told by the Santorums about this journey. Rick and Karen bared their soul when telling this story. I feel very blessed to have been able to read this book. Bella is such an inspiration.
This book is a must read! You will laugh and you will cry. You may even get angry at one point in the book due to coldness of some. That is how open and honest this book is.
Thank you to the publisher for the complimentary copy for our review.
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