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The Hard Parts: A Story of Courage and Triumph – Oksana Masters
Condition : Very Good.
First Edition, Scribner, April 2023, Large-format Paperback – Memoir – 324pp. AS NEW.
The remarkable and inspirational story of Oksana Masters, who was born with radiation-induced birth defects and suffered appalling abuse as an orphan, before being adopted and moving to the US, where she went on to triumph over her challenges to win ten Paralympic medals in four different sports.
Oksana Masters was born in the shadow of Chernobyl, with one kidney, a partial stomach, six toes on each foot, webbed fingers, no right bicep and no thumbs. Her left leg was six inches shorter than her right, and she was missing both tibias. Relinquished to the orphanage system by birth parents daunted by the staggering cost of their child’s medical care, Oksana encountered numerous abuses, some horrifying. Salvation came at the age of seven when Gay Masters, an unmarried American professor who saw a photo of the little girl and became haunted by her eyes, waged a two-year war against stubborn adoption authorities to rescue Oksana from her circumstances.
In America, Oksana endured years of operations that included a double leg amputation. Still, how could she hope to fit in when there were so many things making her different? As it turned out, she would do much more than fit in. Determined to prove herself and fuelled by a drive to succeed that still smouldered from childhood, Oksana triumphed in not just one sport but four – winning against the world’s best in rowing, biathlon, cross-country skiing and road cycling competitions.
This is Oksana’s astonishing story of journeying through a series of dark tunnels – and how, with her mother’s love, she finally found her way into the light. Her message to anyone who doesn’t fit in: you can find a place where you excel and where you have worth.