On the surface Victoria Jackson is the American Dream personified: from an unhappy childhood, an unfinished high school education, she overcame immeasurable odds to create a cosmetics empire valued at more than half a billion dollars. Married to Bill Guthy—self-made principal of Guthy-Renker, the infomercial marketing giant—Victoria’s most treasured role has always been as mother to three beautiful, beloved children, Evan, Ali, and Jackson.
Suddenly, Victoria’s dream life is broken as she finds herself confronting a mother’s greatest fear. In 2008 her daughter, Ali, began experiencing unusual symptoms of blurred vision and an ache in her eye. Her test results led to the diagnosis of Neuromyeltis Optica (NMO) and Ali was given the terrifying prognosis of four to six years to live. At the time, NMO was a little understood, incurable, and often fatal autoimmune disorder that can cause blindness, paralysis, and life-threatening seizures. Then thought to afflict as few as 20,000 people in the world, NMO was classified as an “orphan” disease and there was little ongoing research to offer any hope of improved chances of survival.
Saving Each Other depicts a powerful fight that was then undertaken to save Ali, including the creation of the Guthy Jackson Charitable Foundation to fund research by bringing together a team of the world’s leading experts in autoimmune and NMO-related diseases in an accelerated search to understand and cure a mystery illness now believed to impact many times the original estimate.
Told in alternating viewpoints, Victoria and Ali narrate their different journeys of coming to terms with the lack of control that neither mother nor daughter has over NMO and their pioneering efforts and courage to take their fight worldwide.
Written with raw emotion, humor, and candor, Saving Each Other is the extraordinary journey of a mother and daughter who demonstrate the power of love to transcend our greatest fears and overcome the impossible.