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Gayle Slate

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Dana's Legacy-From Heartbreak to Healing
by Gayle Slate   

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Publisher:  Morgan James Publishing ISBN-10:  1600375375 Type: 


Copyright:  February 1, 2009 ISBN-13:  9781600375378

Only 20 years old when she gave birth to a daughter with disabilities, Gayle Slate struggled over the following decades but gradually came to see, as Helen Keller said, "When one door of happiness closes, another opens." Slate, a pioneering psychotherapist in her field, tells not just her story but also shepherds others toward that open door.

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Danas Legacy

  Dana's Legacy, From Heartbreak to Healing is thoughtful book from first-time author Gayle Slate. A mother's inspirational story of her first child born with cerebral palsy, Dana's Legacy takes readers on a journey from tragedy to triumph. Barely an adult at twenty years old, Gayle's broken dreams of a storybook motherhood were shattered by the reality of her daughter's devastating disability. Her innocent expectations were dismantled by immediate shock and hopelessness.

In the midst of great despair, Gayle and her husband Don learned to make complicated decisions for Dana in light of the probability of a shortened life expectancy. The professionals serving Dana in the 1950s offered little hope, leaving Gayle and Don to rely on their own emerging wisdom.

  Times have changed since Dana was born, but many of the same issues still exist today. Dana's Legacy chronicles the challenges that parents still experience, illustrating the relevance for all families dealing with disability. Despite trepidation about having a child with a disability, Gayle and Don went on to have two healthy children.

  Armed with the hard-won lessons of a unique motherhood, Gayle returned to school (uncommon in the 70s), earning her masters degree in psychology. She became a recognized therapist in her field, working with children with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who serve them. Dana's Legacy also recounts the personal stories of parents she has known in her professional career. Gayle's insightful observations offer practical and meaningful counsel for anyone experiencing life challenges.

  Gayle founded Kids Included Together (KIT) in 1997, a nonprofit that trains organizations throughout the United States to include children with disabilities in their after school, social and recreational programs. All children participate together without the separation that typically exists between those who are able and those who are seemingly not.

  A book of hope for people in pain, DANA'S LEGACY shows how disability brings both tragedy and opportunity. Readers will come to cherish the person of worth and beauty living within the disabled child's body and see the critical importance of the family's attitude.

  Parents and other relatives as well as professional care-givers will find DANA'S LEGACY both instructional and inspirational. Gayle Slate's tough-but-tender story illustrates how families can not only endure trauma but grow because of it.


Dana's Legacy is a mother's inspirational story of her first child, born with cerebral palsy--a journey from tragedy to triumph. A book of hope, Dana's Legacy shows how disability brings both tragedy and opportunity. Readers will come to cherish the person of worth and beauty living within the disabled child's body and see the critical importance of the family's attitude. This tough-but-tender story illustrates how families can not only endure trauma but grow because of it.

Professional Reviews

A Professional's Perspective
Author Gayle Slate begins her book with the birth of her disabled daughter Dana, born in 1959 and continues the story far beyond the loss of Dana at age 14 . The narrative takes the reader on a journey of pain, challenges and hope. It is a story for anyone dealing with adversity.

As a physical therapist having worked with handicapped children, I have marveled as families struggle with the difficulties this presents. Only a parent can truly know the heartaches. Gayle was only 20 when she had to learn how to cope with the reality of her daughter's severe handicap and the multiple issues that this entails.

"Dana's Legacy" is a tribute to women, family, love, and the strength of the human spirit. It is particularly a tribute to the strength of one woman as she manages to keep her family bonded and achieve her own remarkable goals. She earned her master's degree and became a psychologist and a therapist. Gayle has devoted her life to helping other children and families and created a legacy for all of us in Dana's name.

An incredible story of acceptance, joy and triumph
Dana's Legacy is an important and profound book about how to accept and embrace life's challenges. When you read this book you will be inspired by Dana's story and that of her parents, family and friends. It is the story of a young family who faces and conquers some of life's most important lessons. You will become involved in this moving story even if you don't have anyone in your family with a disability. It will bring tears and smiles as you follow this incredible journey of one family.

Dana's Legacy is a treasure, not only for those associated with disability, but for people searching for a life of fulfillment and purpose. The author describes with sensitivity and meaning how life can go on with hope and healing after a tragedy has occurred and how goodness and usefulness can follow. This book is an education in life's ups and downs and is a tribute to the power and productivity of the human spirit as lived by the author, Gayle Slate.

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