Hope Fights Back is the story of Andrea Lytle Peet. When she was 33 years old she was diagnosed with ALS. Most people with ALS die within 5 years. Once Andrea got over the initial shock of all of this, she decided that since she could no longer run marathons she would race them on a trike. She also decided that she was going to complete a marathon in each of the 50 states, hoping to finish with the Boston Marathon. She also started getting tattoos – a swallow bird on her arm for every year she lived past her “expiration date”.
This book was very emotional. You go through all the doctors appointments with Andrea as her mobility begins to decline and she is looking for answers. When things seemed hopeless, you find out that Hope Fights Back and Andrea always seems to pick herself back up and find something to fight for with the help of her very supportive husband, friends and family. When Covid hits in the middle of her quest to get these marathons done you feel for her – because you know she doesn’t have all that much life ahead of her. I teared up several times – but her perseverance also put a huge smile on my face even more times. The hurdles she had to jump to get some of these races to allow her to join them, sometimes seemed worse than some of the hills she had to bike during her races but Andrea either found a way or found a way to pivot. You’ll see when you read about what happened with Boston.
This book was very emotional but also brought me so much joy and now I have to figure out how I can see the documentary about Andrea and her marathons that was filmed throughout the book, especially after hearing about some of the things that happened behind the scenes!
About the Book
Andrea Lytle Peet was thirty-three years old when she received the death sentence of her diagnosis. Grappling with the fact that she will likely become paralyzed and die within two to five years, Andrea experienced an unexpected spark that evolves into a seemingly impossible goal: to become the first person with ALS to complete a marathon in all fifty U.S. states on her recumbent trike. In her mission, she recaptures the freedom of racing and inspires others to appreciate their bodies.
HOPE FIGHTS BACK chronicles what happens when we choose to live instead of waiting to die. Andrea’s words are awe-inspiring for athletes and non-athletes alike. The reader intimately witnesses her tenacity, determination and bravery, not only in taking on her goal, but in her day-to-day life. In a world where “hope” sometimes feels quiet and aspirational, Andrea reveals that hope is, instead, a valiant warrior that changes everything when it fights back.