When she was 26, Linda Morrow gave birth to the first of three sons. Four days later, Linda and her husband Roger brought Steve home and Linda settled into her new role of mother, never suspecting what doctors already knew –that their infant had been born with a chromosomal abnormality.
In Heart of This Family: Lessons in Down Syndrome and Love, published earlier this month, Linda recounts her years of struggle to break down barriers for Steve in areas including health care, education, independent living, and employment.
Heart of This Family not only details Steve’s life from birth through adulthood but also Linda’s gradual awakening to her authentic self as she works her way through guilt, rejection and overwhelming despair to emerge knowing that she did the best she could in a world which continues to see diversity as something to fear rather than celebrate.
Linda is generously donating the proceeds from the sale of her book to benefit the Steve Cohen Fund. The fund was established in Steve’s memory in 2017 with a generous gift from Linda and her wife, Sue Ming. It honors Steve’s legacy of love for his work and supports Project Hire, a Howard Center program that helps adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism find meaningful, competitively-paid employment based on their interests and life goals. In addition to funding Project Hire’s day-to-day expenses, the Steve Cohen Fund also directly helps people with work-related needs like communications support, work clothes, and transportation costs. Since Linda and Sue’s original gift in 2017, many others have contributed in Steve’s memory to his fund which in turn has helped many achieve their dreams.
Heart of This Family is currently available at lmorrow.com
Linda’s virtual author event at Village Books
Read Linda’s blog post about Steve and Howard Center here. And, some of her other blog posts:
Testimonial from Howard Center CEO
“This is a memoir across the span of a lifetime that speaks with the honesty, informality, and sometimes raw emotion of a voice…about how families and family members come together and sometimes apart…This is not about lost opportunities and sacrifice. It is about the transformative spirit that energizes those we love and that love us. It is one family’s story about a mother’s love and a son who lived an amazing life.”
Bob Bick, CEO, Howard Center, Burlington, VT