Several weeks ago I received an invitation to an event hosted by the UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Author Amanda Bennett was going to headline a Women in Media Leadership Series talk. Bennett is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and an executive editor at Bloomberg News. Enclosed with the invitation was a copy of her most recent book. (In my opinion, there is no better gift than a book.) It looked interesting, so I tucked it in my briefcase as I headed off to the AAMC GIA Professional Development Conference where I was scheduled to speak.
On the flight from Dallas to Salt Lake City I read Amanda Bennett’s memoir, The Cost of Hope. It is the incredibly well-written story of Amanda’s relationship with her late husband, from their first introduction and tumultuous love affair to his eventual death from a rare form of kidney cancer. This is one of the best book I’ve read in ages. It held my attention throughout.
Amanda does an amazing job telling the story of their lives together (they are both fascinating people) while weaving in details of their extensive interactions with the healthcare system. In the end, Amanda examines the cost of her hope – the hope of finding a cure for her husband’s cancer. She looks at real dollars and cents. How many CT scans did Foley have over the course of his illness, and how much did they cost? Why were some of the scans far more expensive than others? So what is the true cost of hope and how does it impact the cost of healthcare in the United States? Through her book, Amanda Bennett opens the door to this important and difficult conversation.
Here’s a link to The New York Times review of “The Cost of Hope.”