Julie Riera Matsushima

by Julie Riera Matsushima

"Aimee, a beautiful five pound baby girl, accompanied her identical twin sister, Chloe, into the world on a hot August day in 1997. They were the first grandchildren born to author Julie Riera Matsushima."

The joy and happiness of the day turned into panic and heartache within hours when Aimee was diagnosed with massive irreparable brain damage. Half of Aimee's brain was non-existent, gone, not there. The prognosis was terrifying and dismal. The future looked grim. Blind and deaf, according to the doctors, she would never speak. At best, if she survived the weekend of her birth, she would remain in a "vegetative" state for the rest of her life.

While in the neonatal ICU, Julie remains by Aimee's side. In the days that follow a loving bond is formed between grandmother and granddaughter, Julie and Aimee. This is their story, the story of faith, courage and love.

Julie brings Aimee to life in the mind of the reader as Aimee touches the hearts of all who meet her in her determination to overcome her numerous disabilities. Aimee's enthusiasm, confidence, sense of humor and positive attitude has moved all who have witnessed, in disbelief, her astounding accomplishments.

"For The Love Of Aimee" is the story of a grandmother's sacrifice and devotion. Julie overcomes her own hardships in her determination to accompany Aimee two months a year for special therapy in Europe and elsewhere. It is also the story of a mother's love and desire to help her son, Aimee's father, and her daughter-in-law in their time of need.

There are currently over 4 million special needs children in the United States. Those with cerebral palsy suffer mild to severe disabilities. Many cannot speak. Many cannot walk and are wheelchair bound for life. Some are isolated and wholly dependent while others lead independent, productive lives.

The special needs child presents tremendous challenges for the entire family. Often overwhelmed and feeling abandoned, the family's burden increases as the child grows and develops. Siblings must fend for themselves while the disabled child is fed, bathed, dressed and cared for. Mobility and transportation, constantly a challenge, often limit travel and participation in many family activities. Therapy and equipment are expensive and often a drain on the family's financial resources. The future looks bleak and frightening to parents as they and their child age. Unfortunately, eighty percent of these marriages end in divorce.

"For The Love Of Aimee" identifies and addresses these issues as Aimee grows from infancy to pre-teen. Everyone in the family mourns and feels the loss of what would have been. Julie's persistence on Aimee's behalf encourages parents to seek opportunities to provide the best services for their child. She inspires the reader by demonstrating that supportive and involved grandparents can and do make a difference. She validates that love has no limits and hope never dies.

"For The Love Of Aimee" invites the reader to share in the disappointments, challenges and amazing accomplishments Julie and Aimee experience together during Aimee's first ten years. This incredible book will elevate the awareness of everyone touched by a special needs child to the difficulties facing them. The reader will find love, happiness and success where they least expect it.

A Memoir"

Click here to become a Registered User of Julie's website and receive the entire first chapter of "For The Love Of Aimee: A Memoir" free!

"For The Love Of Aimee: A Memoir" is currently pending publication; registered users will have exclusive information regarding publication date and opportunity for pre-purchase.


"For The Love Of Aimee carries an important message about the power of love, devotion and determination...no matter how difficult the challenge. This life-changing story will inspire individuals and families to reach out and bring about change. The prinicipals Matsushima sets forth in her book can be applied to any and all challenges for her readers experiences in life. This memoir is a testimony of the courageous depth of the human spirit."
- Laurel B. Perusa, Saratoga, CA

"A dynamic interplay between faith and hope that results in the genuine For the Love of Aimee--a captivating story of human transformation well told."
- Monsignor J. Patrick Browne, Pastor, St. Joseph Cathedral, San Jose, CA

"I know this is a good book because I keep thinking about it the next morning when I wake up. I wanted to find out how they over came each challenge... and how Amiee's life unfolds. While I read each chapter I kept thinking of the variety of friends from different parts of my life that I wanted to share this with. I found it very uplifting even during some of the most tearful challenges that they faced."
- Cami Smith, Winter Park, FL

"In this memoir of dauntless dedication and courage, Julie takes the reader on a journey from heartbreak to hope, and the suspense heightens as she proceeds step by step toward an uncertain future. The dedication to her family, and especially to Aimee, never falters as she shares with us the plight of facing the unknown. We are shown the terrible toll in caring for a disabled child in freezing weather in a foreign country, the daily grind of real life...and the anxieties of being subject to foreign laws and the mercy and whims of strangers. This book pulls no punches and is a must-read for those responsible for a child. It is a journey that ends in personal triumph and achievement against all odds. Thanks for sharing Aimee's story with the world, for inspiring parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents everywhere, and most of all for not believing the slap-in-the-face worst at the very beginning. Nothing I have ever read equals the exquisite feelings expressed in this book and what it means to proceed into the unknown when someone else's life is at stake."
- Joyce Henderson, Palo Alto, CA

Share |