If you do one thing this weekend, it should be to go to Borders Books & Music at 199 Deane Drive in Rockford, from 2 to 4 p.m., Saturday, May 22, pay $15 for a copy of Born with a Broken Heart, and meet the author of the book, Creola A. Colón.
Colón, a surgery scheduler in the Ophthalmology Department at Rockford Clinic, has been lauded as a modern-day heroine, and her first book, which she began writing in 1992, recounts her familys decades of struggle with the genealogical disease heterotaxy.
Colóns family is the largest known heterotaxic family in the world. Heterotaxy results in the random arrangement of body organsmost prominently the heart, which often leads to fatal heart defects. Heterotaxy accounts for about 130 of the more than 32,000 congenital heart defects in babies born in the United States each year.
The disease has claimed the lives of four of Colóns brothers, eight of her nephews, and two of her sons in the past 40 years. In addition to describing the decades of grief, Colón also shares her experiences of growing up in the small, cotton-picking community of Mossy Island, Miss., her struggles with an abusive husband, and her service in the United States Navy during Operation Desert Storm.
Born with a Broken Heart is available at Borders Books and can be ordered online at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com. Other upcoming events include a speaking engagement at the Washington Communication Academy (1421 West St.) Graduation at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 1, and an all-day book festival Saturday, Sept. 11, at Rockford Public Library, 215 S. Wyman. The book will also be displayed at the PMA booth at Book Expo America, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., June 4-6, at the McCormick Building in Chicago.
More information and first two chapters of the book available online at www.cacolon.com.