The much-needed book for anyone with a loved one facing a serious illness. It is the book that’s a bible for how to make the potentially life-or-death decisions that every medical advocate, and every patient, must grapple with—especially now, as health care becomes ever more complicated. It is the practical blueprint for how to be a successful medical advocate.
When Gerri Monaghan’s husband, Brian, then a fifty-nine-year-old lawyer at the top of his game, got the news that all of us dread—a diagnosis of brain tumors caused by Stage IV melanoma with a prognosis of three to six months to live—she knew that this was a challenge the two of them would fight together. Brian brought his enormous courage, attitude, and reserves of humor, and Gerri, with dogged determination, stood up again and again for what they needed—tirelessly researching options, reaching out to friends, family, and anyone who could help, resisting the status quo, and always thinking in terms of “we.”
Together they tell their story, back and forth, punctuated throughout by Gerri’s top 50 tips for how to be an advocate: #1 Trust your intuition. #6 Create a battle plan. #15 Get copies of records. #26 Make doctors speak in a language that you understand. #33 Don’t schedule surgery during the holidays. #49 Remember, this is not a dress rehearsal.
About the Author
Brian Monaghan was, until diagnosed with his illness in 1998, a highly successful plaintiff's trial attorney in San Diego, earning numerous awards and citations. He currently serves on the board of directors of the American Ireland Fund, the Salk Institute International Council, Hastings College of the Law at the University of California, and the San Diego Padres.
Gerri Monaghan met Brian when applying for a paralegal job at his firm. They married in 1995 and live in San Diego.