Breathing For a Living: A Memoir

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Hyperion Books, Jun 9, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 256 pages
Now in paperback comes the moving account by an extraordinary young woman who mounted a daily struggle with cystic fibrosis in an effort to lead an ordinary life.

Twenty-one-year-old Laura Rothenberg had always tried to live a normal life -- even with lungs that betrayed her and a constant awareness that she might not live to see her next birthday. Like most people born with cystic fibrosis, the chronic disease that affects primarily the lungs, Laura struggled to come to grips with a life that had already been compromised in many ways. Sometimes healthy and able to attend school, other times hospitalized for weeks, Laura found solace in keeping a diary. In her writing, she could be open, honest, and irreverent, like the young person she was. Yet behind this voice is a penetrating maturity about her mortality, revealing a will and temperament that is fierce and insightful.

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User Review  - Kirkus

A posthumously published account of the 21-year-old cystic fibrosis sufferer's decision to undergo a lung transplant offers a memorable testament to her resilient spirit.This finely wrought chronicle ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Laura Rothenberg was born and raised in New York City and attended the Chapin School and Brown University. She died in March of 2003.
Part of Laura Rothenberg's story was recorded and shared on NPR's Radio Diaries. To listen to it, link to

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