"Born blind in Vietnam, Julie Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia by her grandmother, only to then flee the political upheaval of the late 1970s with her family. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon at... Full description
"Born blind in Vietnam, Julie Yip-Williams narrowly escaped euthanasia by her grandmother, only to then flee the political upheaval of the late 1970s with her family. Loaded into a rickety boat with three hundred other refugees, Julie made it to Hong Kong and, ultimately, America, where a surgeon at UCLA gave her partial sight. Against all odds, she became a Harvard-educated lawyer, with a husband, a family, a life. Then, at age thirty-seven, with two little girls at home, Julie was diagnosed with terminal metastatic colon cancer, and a different journey began. The Unwinding of the Miracle is the story of a vigorous life refracted through the prism of imminent death. Motherhood, marriage, ambition, love, wanderlust, tennis, grief, jealousy, anger, comfort, pain, disease--there is simply nothing this book is not about. Growing out of a blog Julie has kept through the past four years of her life (undertaken because she couldn't find the guidance she needed through her disease), this is the story of a life lived so well, and cut too short. It is inspiring and instructive, delightful and shattering. It is a book of indelible moments, seared deep. With glorious humor, beautiful and bracing honesty, and the cleansing power of well-deployed anger, Julie Yip-Williams has set the stage for her lasting legacy and one final miracle: the story of her life"--
545 pages (large print) ; 23 cm.
Julie Yip-Williams was born Diep Ly Thanh in Tam Ky, South Vietnam on January 6, 1976. Congenital cataracts caused her blindness from birth. In early 1979, Yip-Williams and about 50 members of her family boarded fishing boats from Vietnam for a monthlong journey to Hong Kong with little food or water. After several months in a refugee camp, her immediate family flew to San Francisco in November 1979 and soon afterward to Los Angeles. Yip-Williams underwent surgery at the UCLA Stein Eye Institute that gave her vision for the first time, but she remained legally blind.
She received a bachelor's degree in English and Asian Studies from Williams College in Massachusetts and graduated from Harvard Law School. In 2002, she joined the law firm Cleary Gottlieb in New York and specialized in corporate governance and mergers and acquisitions. In 2013, she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She wrote a blog about having Stage IV colon cancer. Her blog will be turned into a memoir. She died from metastatic colon cancer on March 19, 2018 at the age of 42.