Feature Book by Julia McDermott

All the Above

All the Above

When Jack McDermott is diagnosed with a brain tumor on his 19th birthday, the lives of the McDermott family are forever changed. Sitting right behind his optic nerves, the tumor rapidly threatens to rob him of his sight, and Jack is rushed into surgery. For the next six months, he fights the battle of his life.

Jack’s mother, author Julia McDermott, tells his story from her perspective, and describes her emotional struggle when the unthinkable happens to her son. McDermott portrays neither Jack nor herself as cancer-fighting crusaders, instead painting a refreshingly candid portrait of the family’s challenges during his treatment. Readers get to know Jack, a college student who finds his life taking a dramatically different turn, and his mom, who turns into a mama bear, determined that he get the best treatment and support available. One poignant moment occurs when a medical professional makes light of the fact that Jack will lose his hair, a loss that she dismisses since Jack isn’t a woman. That is Jack’s loss to grieve, and the reader grieves it with him.

Told with honesty, tenderness, and compassion, Julia McDermott maintains a graceful balance of sharing just enough personal details to keep readers satisfied, without violating her family’s privacy. It’s a fine line to walk in such a memoir, and she walks it well. This inspiring true story of courage, optimism, and hope will touch all those whose world has changed in a day, and who have faced grief and loss.

About the Author, Julia McDermott

Julia McDermottJulia McDermott was born in Dallas, Texas, grew up in Atlanta, and is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, spending a year abroad in the south of France. After college, she headed back to Dallas, worked in a downtown bank, and later for a software developer in Richardson, Texas. Over the next dozen or so years, she “retired” to raise four children, and moved across the country with her family four times.

During her “mom-years,” she successfully avoided volunteer leadership roles, but found herself constantly being drafted to write articles, craft newsletters, edit and proof essays, and update websites.

Julia is also the author of two novels, women’s fiction/psychological suspense Underwater, published by Thomas & Mercer, and French travel/romance Make That Deux. A member of writers’ organization Sisters in Crime, the Atlanta Writers Club, Alliance Française, and the Atlanta Toulouse Sister Cities Committee, Julia is a fluent French speaker. She resides in Brookhaven and is a a strong supporter of The American Cancer Society, Relay for Life, and CURE Childhood Cancer. 


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