The remarkable story of five ordinary people trapped in the complex world of serious chronic illness. In this intimate portrait, journalist Cohen probes lives of sickness as these individuals struggle to cope. This book was born of the desire of many to share their stories in the hope that the sick and those who love them will see that they are not alone. Cohen spent three years chronicling the lives of five diverse "citizens of sickness" with ALS, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, Crohn's disease, muscular dystrophy, and bipolar disorder. Though each individual's illness wreaks havoc in a different way, Cohen shows how their experiences are strikingly similar and offer lessons for us all--on self-determination, on courage in the face of adversity and public ignorance, on keeping hopealive, and on finding strength and peace under the most difficult of circumstances.--From publisher description.