Mackenzie's Mission: How One Mother Turned Tragedy into Hope and Love (Paperback)
'A true love story' - Mia Freedman
Rachael Casella is one of the bravest, kindest people you could ever meet. Despite having her life completely shattered by the death of her baby daughter, and the termination of a subsequent pregnancy due to a genetic defect, she has turned that tragedy into a historic change in Australia's genetic testing laws. She has also built a community through her social media and blog for people in similar situations where they can share their grief and heal together. This book is the story of her daughters, her struggles with conception, pregnancy, genetic defects and ultimately death. But it is also the story of triumph over adversity, the strength that can be found in kindness and the power of one woman to affect positive change.
I want the book to be about the love of a parent to their child, the effect of genetics on Australia and how it will change the future, the life of a little girl who will ultimately alter Australia and save lives, the death of a child, how society deals with grief and the beauty that can come from tragedy; both in other people and within us.
We are more than just a sad story.
I would never wish what happened to us on our worst enemy, but I would wish the perspective we were given on everyone.
I have so many people reaching out to me who feel connected to some part of our journey. Some feel attracted because they have a child with a condition, others because they have also lost a child. Some are just parents who use our story to help them push through the hard times of parenting and have more perspective. Some are because they feel connected to our IVF journey or have had to have a medical interruption like us and finally some simply want to be kind and witness our lives.
Whilst most would feel uncomfortable at the discussion of child loss or a sick child, I have found that in fact it is actually a conversation many people want to talk about. I have learnt that people are screaming to talk about their loss, for their pain or new life to be acknowledged and for guidance. Every week I have people write me emails, send me messages and even send me and Mackenzie gifts. This is a topic people care about and can't be hidden anymore.
Rachael Casella is a federal agent for organised crime. She lives in Sydney with her husband Jonny, who also works for the Australian Federal Police.