Joyce Good Henderson

Paperback: 122 pages
Publisher: Faith's Loom Books (July 3, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0692295038
ISBN-13: 978-0692295038
Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches

Available in Paperback and Kindle formats

                 Book Reviews


This book is about a young lady that was dealt a lemon in life and has made lemonade. She has chosen to overcome disabilities and go for the gusto. Read this book and you will have a whole lot less pity parties over your situations. Keep it up Ashley.

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McGrath is a Shining Star for all of us. "UnabAshed by Disability" is a blazing guiding light for people of all ages, especially those who face the challenge of a disability.This is a remarkable story that should be required reading for Middle School students and above.

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I enjoyed Ashley's Book exceedingly well. I think this type of book is a real incentive for challenged people. It is a lesson on how not to give up and to overcome any obstacles as they are presented. It is an inspiration for all ages and any challenges.

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This is a true testament to determination and confidence. Ashley doesn't know what it is to give up. A great read for anyone, but especially young people.



                                      Book Reviews


​Ashley McGrath is a well educated, successful young woman, who has overcome serious and chronic medical issues to become an overachiever. To add to her many accomplishments, she is now a published author. Her book focuses on the loving support of her family, her many friends, and enjoyable life experiences. Her life and her life story provide understanding and motivation for all. She is a living example of that adage "persistence is the key to success." Ashley McGrath is both persistent and successful.

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​Having known Ashley since her birth, I have always been impressed with her resilience and her cheerful attitude. When we complain about the little things that happen to us, I often think of her and and wonder what I really have to complain about. When she first started to discuss writing a book I was not sure it would happen, I should have known better! When Ashley says she will do something, she does! Remembering her playing water balloons at our picnics or "dancing" in her wheelchair at her Uncle Bobby's wedding Ashley bring a special joy to everyone. I am so proud to know her and her incredible family for their strength and zest for life no matter where it takes them. Bravo, Ashley!

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​I made it through the book, UnabASHED by Disability, without tears until I read the Afterword section, written by Ashley's mom and dad. The section made me mindful of everything special and enduring about their precious daughter, Ashley M. McGrath. Born on April 6, 1986, Ashley had made it through life with numerous spinal surgeries. Thereafter, she defended herself in preschool, was mistaken for a doll, mastered algebra, witnessed her mom "star" with Rosie O'Donnell, dappled in Science Research, became prom queen, and ultimately received a Master's degree. The poker-playing Ashley, however, experienced a few hardships. But after surviving a few bouts of depression, Ashley persevered, and is working to change the world in her enduring, well-written autobiography: UnabASHed by Disability. She's a prolific worker and determined to surmount any obstacle life throws her way! As a mother of two children with disabilities, I highly recommend Ashley's book as a work of inspiration, encouragement, and endurance!

     During her first three months, Ashley McGrath’s parents were told, “Ashley might not live to see her first birthday; if she does, she may be mentally challenged.”

     They were advised to take her home and love her, which they did. But Ashley proved that she is a survivor. Unable to walk due to a rare genetic disorder, Ashley uses a wheelchair, but that hasn’t stopped her from trying out for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" or competing in the World Series of Poker. Ashley couldn't talk until age five due to a birth defect. Five years later, she won her first public speaking competition. At thirteen, Ashley became one of the youngest lectors at her church. Later, she spoke at her college graduation.

     Despite fifteen childhood surgeries, Ashley went from special education to the gifted program in her elementary school. She missed seventh grade because of three operations and months of physical rehabilitation, but she returned to school with passion, excelling in her studies and extracurricular activities. She participated in Science Research, the Spelling Bee, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, and the school newspaper.

     During her extraordinary childhood, Ashley was kissed by exercise guru Richard Simmons. She shook hands with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and met talk show host Rosie O’Donnell. Ashley was her high school’s prom queen and received standing ovations at her high school and college graduations. Ashley’s personal convictions led her to donate her hair to Locks of Love, and her academic achievements allowed her to obtain a Master's degree from the second-largest university in the U.S.

     UnabASHed by Disability also contains information about campomelic syndrome, a genetic disorder. The foreword features the two medical geneticists who conducted research and named the disorder. UnabASHed by Disability is the autobiography of a remarkable woman who learned how to live with her handicaps, overcome obstacles, and achieve her goals. Ashley is honest in her description of her battle with depression and the challenges of growing up in a wheelchair. Her message is one of hope and encouragement for both the able-bodied and those with disabilities.