Alicia Townsend, at sixteen years old was an outgoing, loving, talented, and intelligent high school junior, a dedicated swimmer and had been voted to be the next season’s co-captain. She was also a member of the National Honor Society, and involved in a variety of activities in and out of school as well as multiple volunteer organizations, including Venture Crew and Relay for Life. Offseason, she swam on a USS swim team at Southern Connecticut State University. Her life-long dream was to become a teacher. On a cold and sunny Saturday morning in February 2002, Alicia was rushed into surgery for the third time in twenty-four hours. She had just suffered a massive stroke, a catastrophic complication following a routine brain surgery the previous morning and was now left fighting for her life. On Friday morning, Alicia ran up three flights of stairs as her mom took the elevator; she met her with a victorious smile as the elevator doors opened outside the surgical suite on the third floor. Less than twenty-four hours later, as her mother hastily signed permission forms for the third surgery, Alicia’s neurosurgeon, Dr. Duncan, explained, “I will try everything I can, but I need you to know that this is desperate. I do not expect her to make it.” To Dance in the Rain is Alicia’s story—her fight, her triumphs, her setbacks...her journey. Day after day, Alicia fought, with the help of her family and friends. At every turn along the path back from the very edge of death, she pressed on, facing every challenge, inspiring everyone who observed her battle. To Dance in the Rain recounts the events surrounding this sad, life-changing and often overwhelming scenario. Through stories within a story, told with love and hope, Clare shares the years that she and her family kept vigil with Alicia, always searching for the path back to health. “Believing in miracles, no matter how small, opened our eyes to the possibilities and brought us the strength to persevere.” This book is the ‘How To’ manual for adversity survival. Each chapter provides examples of actions as well as messages of hope for anyone facing such a turn of events. As an ER nurse of 20 years, at that point, Clare had encountered similar scenarios, but never on a personal level. She provides a unique perspective, combining years of medical knowledge with the vulnerability faced by a parent during a sudden and life changing family tragedy. Her intention is to bring this message to anyone facing the life-threatening illness or injury of a loved one as well as to those who care and advocate for critically ill children and their families on a daily basis. Renowned Pediatrician and Chief of Staff at Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital, Dr. George Lister wrote this in the Foreword: “… as Clare articulates throughout the book and reinforces so clearly in the Epilogue, that life has been forever transformed by the events Alicia and her family faced, but every bit as much by the community that surrounded them and brought “untold amounts of joy, comfort and happiness.” In addition to our story providing inspiration for all families, Dr. Lister also recommends that hospital staff everywhere pay attention to the healing that can occur when staff and families work closely together for the good of the patient.” To Dance in the Rain – A Mother and Daughter’s Journey of Hope and Healing is a compelling and heart rendering memoir that invites the reader a glimpse into this family’s sudden and life-changing tragedy. This book will impact every reader emotionally and inspire us all, especially those who are facing seemingly insurmountable odds, to forge on, to continue to fight, to never—ever—give up.