"Like the swallows, Ollie came in the spring and left in the autumn. Dancing, singing, swooping - there was something birdlike about his energy, joy and laughter - but also the fleeting, transitory, enigmatic quality of his life. At the age of two he lost the ability to speak, when autism turned his life - and ours - into a baffling challenge. Then at four, he almost died from Leukaemia. Chemotherapy worked its magic, but at six he had a relapse in the Central Nervous System. He fought hard and made a full recovery. Then, just six months from the Official All Clear, a brain tumour was discovered. The surgeons warned that residual tentacles of cancer would almost certainly soon resume their insidious worming through his brain. After a brave struggle, he died very suddenly. His body had gone into meltdown. He was twelve." This is not a story of passive suffering or failure. Ollie had extraordinary courage. Time after time he bounced back, determined to enjoy life. He had astonishing endurance. He was obstinate, mischievous, playful, flirtatious, quixotic, funny. He generated - and continues to generate - huge amounts of laughter. And he was very beautiful. He was the sort of person who would always dominate a room and affect everyone around him. We always felt that if autism had not unravelled the wiring of his neural pathways, he would have achieved extraordinary things. "I would like to explore the journey we made with Ollie and to tell his story. Unlike a mountaineer, pursuing extreme experiences for self-gratification, he had difficulty thrust upon him - his courage was real. For me, too, although I did not have to do all the physical pain and suffering, the journey was far more compelling than any expedition."
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'A story of great courage, love, and extraordinary selflessness... a celebration of a bright, lively, brave little boy' -- Daily Mail
'Ollie is not a bleak book. There are episodes of exuberant joy... More compelling than a climbing narrative.' -- The Independent
The exceptionally moving, brilliantly written story of the brief, courageous life of Ollie, the autistic son of one of Britain's most successful mountaineers, and of his effect on all who knew him.
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Book Description Hutchinson, 2006. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0091800250