Archives for August 2014

Cleft lip Katie’s shot at Miss Canada.

A while back I introduced Katie Barrow, a young stunner who wasn't letting a cleft lip get in the way of her dream to compete in the Miss Canada Globe beauty pageant. I chronicled her efforts to raise money to get to the event in Toronto this month. She did bake sales, auctions, flea markets, and dance club events to finance all the expenses (outfits, gowns, etc.) associated with the pageant. Cleft lip isn't holding Katie Barrow back. Recently, twenty-year old Katie has had to practice her … [Read more...]

Someone I love needs a cure. The ALS Challenge.

Am thrilled about the ice bucket fever that's sweeping the nation...and world (Lindsay Lohan just challenged Prince Harry). ALS, also known as  Lou Gehrig's Disease, is challenging my wife's sister and her loved ones on a daily basis. I'm so glad that the disease is getting the attention it deserves since we desperately need research to find a cure for this generally fatal disease that strikes randomly and seems to have no rhyme or reason.  I'm also proud of all of our relatives who're risen … [Read more...]

Robin Williams, bipolar disorder?——II

I've studied depression and its variants all my life—as a psychology major, as a med student, and as an observer of those around me. I've chosen to weigh in on the debate over Robin Williams for that reason, and also because depression is an important theme in my memoir, Cleft Heart. Before delving further  into the Williams case,  I'll address some of feedback I've received regarding my assertion that Williams suffered from bipolar disorder. And since there have been new revelations about … [Read more...]

Robin Williams bipolar disorder?

I'm continuing my examination of Robin Williams mental state for two reasons. First, I admired his wide ranging talent and have had nothing but good feelings for him over the decades. Second, I've spent much of my life thinking about depression and related diseases since people close to me have suffered from such afflictions. I've chronicled some of this in Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal.  Funnyman-in-Chief had bipolar disorder?  Our nation has lost its Funnyman-in-Chief, and this is doubly … [Read more...]

If Williams was bipolar, he wasn’t alone.

Robin Williams I knew Robin Williams' death by hanging would be as hard for me to process as Philip Seymour Hoffman's recent tragic death at age 46. That's because a central character in my memoir, Cleft Heart, may've battled the black dog of depression as some allege Williams did. My family—and my study of psychology in college and med school—have sensitized me over the years  to the complexities of mood disorders, esp depression and manic-depression (called bipolar disorder today). My guess … [Read more...]

A kid without facial symmetry——II

  The amazing young boy in Palacio's 2012 youth novel, Wonder, is named Auggie, and he's a hit across America in schools where books about tolerance and the impact of bullying are assigned and discussed. Recognizing this, the author and Random House just released a novella, but 88 pages, entitled The Julian Chapter: a Wonder Story. It rectifies a concern many readers had that Wonder didn't have a chapter from the main antagonist's point of view. They also released a companion volume to Wonder … [Read more...]

Cleft Heart’s portrayal of cleft lip experience touted.

Cleft Lip and Palate Love. Am pleased to announce several newspapers and magazines have taken note of Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal.  In one magazine, the open secret of Cleft Heart's success was revealed along with some secrets of once hush-hush, hoary senior societies (the cover story of the July/August 2014 issue of YAM).         In another magazine, writers note that  "Schonborn['s] just-released memoir, Cleft Heart, has received great reviews from newspapers, review … [Read more...]