I Am the Storm Book Summary - I Am the Storm Book explained in key points
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I Am the Storm summary

Janice Dean

Inspiring Stories of People Who Fight Against Overwhelming Odds

4 (29 ratings)
19 mins
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    I Am the Storm
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    A Mother against the Opioid Crisis.

    What does it take to face up to one of the biggest monsters ravaging the heart of America? Shelly Elkington had to learn the answer when she found herself up against the devastating opioid crisis.

    In 2015, Shelly’s daughter Casey died by suicide at the age of 26 after a long struggle with opioid addiction. Casey had been diagnosed with a terrible inflammatory bowel disease that left her in incredible pain, making her endure multiple surgeries.

    It was after one of these surgeries that a doctor prescribed her a powerful pain medication: Oxycodone. Her mother, Shelly was initially happy – after all, what parent wants to see their daughter in pain? But for daughter Casey, this was the beginning of the end.

    By the time Casey was discharged from hospital, she was completely dependent on opioids. The doctor prescribed them, so Shelly told herself that they couldn’t be bad, right? But eventually Casey found out that heroin was cheaper and easier to get.

    In the final months of her life, Casey was rarely seen by her parents – instead hanging out with heroin dealers and ex-prisoners. One of the last times that Shelly talked to her daughter, Casey told her: “It’s not my fault, Momma.”

    It was a few months after Casey's death that Shelly started her fight. She talked about her experience with newspapers and other parents who had gone through similar things. Learning that she wasn’t alone gave her the strength to keep fighting.

    At the time, government and society were ill-equipped to deal with the opioid crisis. Laws and stigmas made it hard for emergency teams to help, or addicts to talk about their problems. It was the only disease that was addressed as a political issue, rather than a medical one.

    Shelly found strong allies in lawmakers who had also lost loved ones to opioids – politicians from both sides of the political spectrum. Together they fought for small changes and small steps forward.

    Now there's legislation that allows emergency responders to carry Narcan – a drug that can save someone from an overdose. There was also a settlement hearing in 2022 where people who had lost loved ones to opioids were allowed to directly address individuals whose businesses profit from this dangerous drug.

    One particularly big victory for Shelley came in 2018, when she was a guest at the State of the Union address to acknowledge the attention she had brought to the opioid crisis.

    But a lot is left to do. This Goliath hasn't yet fallen. Shelley sometimes has to ask herself: “When do you give up?”

    It’s hard, but Shelley remains optimistic. She is grateful for the years she had with her daughter, and is strengthened by the thought that she might help others in ways that she couldn’t help Casey.

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    What is I Am the Storm about?

    I Am the Storm (2023) is an inspiring dive into what it takes to stand as a David against a Goliath. From a single gymnast who took on a whole abusive system, to a grieving mother who chose to tackle the US opioid epidemic head on, it shows that anyone can make a stand for what they believe in, no matter how big their opponent may seem.

    Who should read I Am the Storm?

    • Anyone looking for inspiration to face the challenges in their life
    • People sick of big organizations acting with impunity
    • Believers in the strength of human will

    About the Author

    Janice Dean has been the senior meteorologist for the Fox News Channel since 2004, leading major meteorological reporting such as the coverage of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. She is the bestselling author of Make Your Own Sunshine (2021) and Mostly Sunny (2019). I Am the Storm is her third book.

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