I have always been told that my story is unique… homeless as a child, self-taught dancer actress, marriage to a Las Vegas entertainer, labor on a plane across borders, birth to a child with Down syndrome in Canada and a son who was labeled an undesirable alien and denied entry into the US.
The story continued with the offer of adoption by the Onondaga Indian tribe who could cross both borders, and eventually finding a hero… a Vice President who would become his sponsor. After VP Humphrey died, I “harbored” my son, an illegal alien, building an organization called Opportunity Village and raising millions for a place he would not be able to attend. And then one day, at the 11th hour, when he would soon turn 18 and never gain entry, a chance meeting at a dinner for 2000 strangers in Washington DC led to his legal American status on a celebrity packed stage at the Hilton hotel.
I was never going to write the book because I had my hands full as I relentlessly forged on my way to raising a billion dollars for disability causes. I planned to die at my desk in a job that I loved. But it was not to be when circumstances beyond my control caused my sudden departure and a 38 year storied career came to an abrupt halt. I quickly found myself adrift without a rudder.
They say that when one door closes another opens, and friends and family stick together no matter what. This was to be proven true over and over in those early days, because a book soon took shape and movie offers appeared and gentle encouragement of loved ones guided me forward.
The book tells the journey of a mothers journey to write the wrongs for her disabled son. It is the product of loving friends and family, but mostly it is a book inspired by a special son, a son whose entry into the world, changed perceptions, brought humanity to Sin City and a human rights movement like no other. It’s also about unconditional love, perseverance and making the very best lemonade possible.