George William Knauer never had an easy life: He grew up as one of seven children and was placed in foster care after his mother was institutionalized with Huntington’s disease.
He ended up at Wiltwyck School for Boys, a reform school supported by Eleanor Roosevelt. When he left school after the eighth grade, he threw himself headfirst into the plumbing and heating field. He established his own plumbing and heating business, marrying and divorcing five times along the way.
When he was in his fifties, Knauer went completely blind, but he continued to take care of two of his brothers—and he kept working as a plumber under the name Blind Mice Plumbing and Heating.
But not everything went smoothly: He survived numerous near-death experiences—even falling out of a third-floor window. After each ordeal, he successfully reinvented himself and continued living life.
In telling his story, Knauer shares what it’s really like to deal with Huntington’s disease. James Pollard, a world-renowned authority on the disease, has lent his expertise about the disease throughout the book.