Dear Ilene:

I finished your book yesterday. Thank you so much for putting into words what so many of us moids feel and deal with on an every day basis. You are one tough cookie! It also was delightful to `get to know` your family a bit better by reading how lovingly and sometimes witty you describe `your guys`. An amazing thing happened after I finished the last page. Not even 30 seconds later the phone rang. It was one of my best friends with the devastating news her husband had just been diagnosed with a braintumor.... I was on top of their list for people to call. They needed advice on where to go from here. Another perfect example of `knowledge is empowering`. I truly hope that my experiences in the past and the lessons I learned will make it a bit more easier for my friend and her husband to travel the journey we already made.

Love, Yvette

Dear TWA (TWCA) Ladies,

Ilene Hill is a Troy woman who endured three decades of debilitating headaches, yet she raised a family, had a career, and embraced life.  She's written a book about her experience. I started reading it in bed at eleven o'clock and woke up the next morning very tired.  Staying up until three in the morning are days gone by.  The next morning, I took the book and my car, but not my cell, and went to Recipe's for breakfast. They open early.  Angie, my waitress, must have sensed my intensity and determination to finish the book I was holding and asked me,"What is the name of the book that has you so mesmorized?"

I told her it was written by a woman I didn't know at the time, who gave me a card at a difficult time in my life (Andrea's death) that helped me cope. I told her that it was a book about climbing from the abyss, not to the mountain top, but to ground level and then crawling.  I told her it was a story about paying-it-forward, to learning not to make others' needs more important than our own, to loving our children more than life itself. I told her it was about anger, dying, learning to live. I didn't tell her to buy the book, she already said she was going to.

I share it with you because it's an extrodinary tale. I share it with you because she lives among us. I share it with you because if you read it, there may be someone in your life who would benefit from Ilene's story. I'm paying-it-forward.

Big E (little e lives in Munich)

Hi Ilene,

I read your book and I couldn't put it down. It was awesome! You have such
an incredible story. I'm glad that you took the time and effort to write it
all down.

It was very inspirational. You really put life into perspective. My oldest
son, Nick, just graduated from Troy High and will be leaving in the fall for
school. I'm cherishing each moment that we still have as a family together. You're right about each moment being precious....

Take Care!

OMG - Ilene - your book was amazing.  I am a very slow reader but I couldn't put it down.  You presented your story in a way that readers could completely follow along and experience your journey in a way that really hit home.  I had heard bits and pieces of your history in the past but when you put them all together, it's amazing that you are not only where you are physically, but also at a place to emotionally experience relief and go on with life without a huge chip on your shoulder.  I can understand why you were so disappointed and hurt by your mother's inability to be there for you. I can't imagine how I would have felt and, when I think of turning the tables, I can't even fathom not being there for Maddy regardless of how hard it may be for me to deal with illness.  What is also so amazing in your story is how life goes on - you move, remodel homes, attend sports events, work and go on vacation despite the ringing in your ears and double vision.  One rarely considers the practical reality of life that goes on behind the illness - you spell it out so well.  What I also loved about your book and what you told me when I visited is your being proactive and tenacious in seeking and obtaining the treatment that finally addressed your problem.  So - you did a fantastic job with your book!  I've loaned it to one of my girlfriends. 

Hi Ilene,
I just finished your book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down.
You have no idea what a complement that is because you don't know me well enough to realize that I have the attention span of a squirrel.
You were very kind to leave out certain things about the Carson house when you and Scott purchased it - like the pretty yellow color of the aluminum siding.
Thank God that we had removed the fire engine red carpeting in the living/dining rooms and the checkered wallpaper on the kitchen walls (and ceiling) before you guys showed up.
They would have most certainly been featured in grueling detail in the book as another cause of headaches.
The one thing that I still remember was how amazed Scott was to see the newness of the floor joists in the basement. In reading your book, I now understand his perception.
I too grew up in a house built in the early 1900's and recall reading newspapers dated from the 1910's and 1920's that I removed from the walls when working on rehabbing in the 1950's.
Your book sends strong messages:
Never Ever Give Up!
Trust But Verify!
Knowledge Is Power!
Never trust one doctor to be all knowledgeable!
 If I had to pick the most important lesson from your story, it would be, PAY FORWARD.
 Thak you for sharing your story with me,

Ilene has been a long time member of the Moids Community and has offered support and encouragement for many members.  Even after 6 surgeries, Ilene manages to see the glass as half full.  An inspiring woman who is set out to tell her story in hopes to offer encouragement to others going through challenging times.
 Congratulations, Ilene, on your recent release of your new memoir, "Life Stinks, and Then... You Live!"