About The Book

Journeys of Heartache and Grace: Conversations And Life Lessons From Young People With Serious Illnesses is a book of stories, life lessons and communication strategies coming directly from those who mince no words: children and young people with terminal or serious illnesses.  The book is non-fiction and relates to how families communicate and the life lessons learned when young people become seriously ill.  Although taken from the perspective of seriously ill young people, the strategies and lessons from the book apply to people of all ages. 

Journeys of Heartache and Grace stems from author Dr. Melody Chatelle’s personal, one-on-one interviews with young people ages six to 20 living with life-threatening illnesses.  The interviews were conducted as a part of her PhD work from The University of Texas at Austin, College of Communication.  The publication was a 2004 nominee for Dissertation of the Year. 

Chatelle is a long-time Hospice Austin volunteer who also owns Chatelle and Associates, a legislative and communication consulting company based in Austin, Texas.


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