Ilana Estelle: Cerebral Palsy: A Story (Finding The Calm After The Storm)

Today I’m delighted to be sharing my review of Cerebral Palsy: A Story (Finding The Calm After The Storm). My post is written with thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me on the blog tour and to the author for my copy of the book.


Living with cerebral palsy is enormously difficult. But what if you never knew you had it?

This is the incredible story of Ilana Estelle.

Born the second of premature twins, an hour apart, from a young age Ilana knew she was different, but for all the wrong reasons. A child of the 60s, Ilana experienced first-hand the way that disability was, at the time, so often brushed under the carpet, not spoken about. Her constant physical and mental struggles made her feel isolated, alone, frustrated, and misunderstood. It took 46 years for her to find out why.

Part memoir, part motivational guide, Cerebral Palsy: My story is Ilana’s open and honest journey from an angry, confused child, knowing something was wrong, not knowing what was wrong, what her disability was, or that there was a diagnosis – to the ‘real’ her – a courageous woman using her experiences and lessons to create inspiring messages about mental and physical health, resilience and change.


As someone who was born prematurely and has cerebral palsy, I found so much to relate to in this book. Unlike Ilana, I have been aware of my diagnosis as long as I have been able to understand it, but that doesn’t mean that I was fully aware, even now, of what it entailed and some of the co-existing medical conditions. I often found myself shouting into an empty room “Oh, so that’s why that happens!” and I was fascinated by the journey of discovery on which I was taken by this book. I loved that her writing style gets the reader straight to the point and whilst it has an overall positive tone and message, Ilana does not shy away from talking about things that she finds difficult – something that I have been put off by in similar books.

For readers that don’t have a personal connection to the subject, I still believe there is plenty to take from Cerebral Palsy: A Story (Finding The Calm After The Storm). Ilana  talks about the need for understanding of disability in wider society, and I think this book does go some way to addressing this. Ilana  describes her journey in very accessible language, which means that readers who are not familiar with medical terms can gain some insight into how Ilana diagnoses have affected her life. She also writes extensively about how she has sought to improve her health and wellbeing and makes some suggestions as to how others might do the same to reduce their risk of illness, which has relevance for everyone.

Ilana also includes quotations from famous people such as Nelson Mandela, John Lennon and the Dalai Lama. I felt these gave some context to her writing and gave the reader some extra things to think about.

Cerebral Palsy: A Story (Finding The Calm After The Storm) is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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