Run to the Light
In this powerful memoir, a devoted sister finds the courage to face indescribable loss and discovers what it really means to believe.
Laura has it all: a great job, a loving family, a new husband, and a house in her hometown, where she can watch her sister, Taylor, grow up. But one month after her wedding, Laura and her family receive shocking news: Taylor has Batten disease. A rare, fatal disease that will cause Taylor to go blind, suffer seizures, and lose the ability to walk and talk. There is no cure. Laura thought she’d get to watch her baby sister grow up, but instead she’ll have to watch her die.
Unwilling to take no cure for an answer, Laura founds a charity with family and friends, Taylor’s Tale, to save children with the disease. Meanwhile, Taylor starts running, completing her first race blind. Inspired, Laura, a lifelong runner, begins running in half marathons to raise money and awareness. And also to run away from the pain.
Taylor’s Tale becomes a world leader in the fight against Batten disease, but not quickly enough to save Taylor. Stripped of her faith, Laura falls into a dark despair. But Taylor’s unwavering courage in the face of certain death gives Laura a renewed sense of purpose to turn her family’s tragedy into an opportunity–to ensure others won’t have to suffer as her sister has suffered.
Run to the Light is Laura’s inspiring account of how she found the courage to face indescribable loss, and of what it means to really believe.
Praise for Run to the Light
“Run to the Light shows us that running is the ultimate faith healer, restoring belief not only in oneself but life’s possibilities. Taylor can’t run but her spirit is with Laura every stride, every breath, and every finish line.”
–Bart Yasso, Running USA Hall of Champions and retired Runner’s World chief running officer
“Run to the Light is a painfully honest story and a shining example of how to use an unimaginable situation for good.“
–Charlie Engle, author of Running Man
“Laura King Edwards’s younger sister, Taylor, was diagnosed with Batten disease, a rare, degenerative brain disease with no known treatment or cure, just a few weeks before Taylor’s eighth birthday and a month after Laura’s wedding. You might be concerned that this memoir will be depressing. But you’d be wrong. Because of the author’s dazzling use of language, because of her brave wisdom, because of her intense love for her sister, this book is powerfully uplifting. Prepare for an emotional impact: You’ll discover, along with the author, how to find hope and meaning in the midst of life’s ruthless complexities.“
–Judy Goldman, New York Times bestselling author of Child: A Memoir, Together: A Memoir of a Marriage and a Medical Mishap, and Losing My Sister
“There is death in the air, but Laura King Edwards defies it every step of the way, running to beat the odds on behalf of her sister and every child suffering at the hand of an incurable disease. Beautifully and thoughtfully written, this personal account of triumph in the face of tragedy will steal your heart.“
–Linda Vigen Phillips, author of Crazy and Behind These Hands
“In this powerful memoir, Run to the Light, a talented new writer, Laura King Edwards, tells a vivid, realistic, and heart-wrenching tale of supreme courage, perseverance, and faith in the face of unthinkable darkness. You will be weeping tears of sadness at the beginning and tears of inspiration at the end of this remarkable, sweet tale of a sister’s love and devotion. It is a tale full of beauty, power, and grace. Every page led to an inspiring ending, and I loved reading it!”
–Susan Ketchin, author of The Christ-Haunted Landscape: Faith and Doubt in Southern Fiction
“Laura King Edwards’s Run to the Light is an intensely moving, lyrical tribute to her sister Taylor, who has a form of a devastating inherited neurological condition called Batten disease. Laura was initially less-than-thrilled to become a big sister during her sophomore year of high school, and was at first resentful of her involvement in Taylor’s care. Laura could hardly have known that those were the good days, when Taylor was bright, beautiful, and active. The disease made its presence known slowly, and Laura relates the intensifying feelings as the diagnostic odyssey led from visual loss to a much more all-encompassing disorder. The family even trekked from their homes in North Carolina for Taylor to undergo experimental stem cell treatment in Oregon. Taylor is still beautiful, but Batten disease has taken its toll. Today she can’t eat, walk, or see. Yet she smells, smiles, hears, and loves. Taylor is still very much Taylor. In Run to the Light, Laura chronicles the family’s battle against Batten, culminating in her efforts to run a half marathon blindfolded in Taylor’s honor. It is a compelling and unforgettable story of the love of two sisters.”
–Ricki Lewis, author of The Forever Fix: Gene Therapy and the Boy Who Saved It
“Laura King Edwards writes with her heart. When Laura was my creative writing student at UNC, I knew she would run with words and win. She has that great gift as well as the gift of love. I can’t say Laura’s name without the tears and memories that go with it. There isn’t a single unearned word in Run to the Light. The book is a beautiful testimony for endurance and blessings.”
–Ruth Moose, author of Doing It at the Dixie Dew