Review: Rachael Casella – Mackenzie’s Mission

Mackenzie’s Mission
How One Mother Turned Tragedy into Hope and Love
Rachael Casella

“Rachael Casella is one of the bravest, kindest people you could ever meet… This book is the story of her daughters, her struggles with conception, pregnancy, genetic defects and ultimately death. But it is also the story of triumph over adversity, the strength that can be found in kindness and the power of one woman to affect positive change.”

I requested this book because I’m a geneticist and I’m always excited about genetic disorders (remind me at our next dinner party if you want to hear about my mechanic’s son’s disorder). Unfortunately for me, this book had less about the science and some inaccuracies in it. Fortunately, that’s not really what this book is about.

Casella brings out her story and intertwines it with moments of both hope and horrible pain. She and her husband didn’t really know anything about genetic testing before having their severely disabled child, Mackenzie. Since then, Casella has overcome or equalled her grief with the powerful need to promote more widespread genetic testing.

If you are a family that has suffered from the loss of a child, this book could remind you that you aren’t alone. Anything that promotes discussion of still births and miscarriages, and acknowledges family grief, is a worthy read. I’m not sure that you necessarily need to reread it, but it’s worth a single read.

This book reminds me how fortunate we are in Australia that women can have access to medical abortions if they need them. Also, that people are slightly more open about miscarriage and IVF journeys without ever reaching their destination. My personal opinion however is that there are other options than having your own biological children, and there are lots of kids out there that need a loving home. But I digress…

Somehow this book escaped my rigorous recording of when it came in the door and who the publicist was. In addition, I could swear that I had reviewed it, but alas, my beginning thoughts were lost. Fortunately for this book, I don’t have to give it stars (yay, non-fiction!) but I wouldn’t necessarily go for this book as a gift in time for Christmas anyway.

Allen & Unwin | 1st June 2020 | AU$29.99 | paperback

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