25 to Life


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This memoir is about Terri and her struggle in coping with a genetic condition that for eight years remained unidentified. Confronted with the stark realization of her physical deterioration, Terri wrestles with her desire to be normal and who she actually is. The search for answers is ongoing and the family remains helpless in witnessing her regression. Terri reluctantly accepts the wheelchair and enters into another era of disablement accompanied by her resolve and subsequent pursuit of “normalcy”. Rising above, she embraces goals, dares to dream, pursues rather than fears, and with the assistance of her beloved canine companion never loses her spirit and will. Intertwined with this memoir is the emotional challenge within the family as they too struggle with Terri’s descent. The relentless deterioration leaves in its wake residuals. No one is left unscathed. Terri takes all who knew her on an unforgettable ride as her courage and determination stands tall in the face of adversity, ignorance, and physical pain. Hers is a journey of self-discovery.

About the Author: The author, J. Federice, is a retired school teacher having taught for 35 years. She is a graduate of Ithaca College and presently resides in upstate New York for six months out of the year. A mother of four children and six grandchildren, she initially logged the biographical details following Terri’s death in 1995. Knowing that other parents who might have a disabled child with an unknown disease are faced with numerous challenges, she wrote Terri’s story with the purpose of offering assistance based upon her own experiences. “25 to Life” is a tribute to Terri and to the accomplishments of the disabled.


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