February 9th, 2008

Filed under: Information,My Heart: The Book,Photography — admin @ 2:34 pm

My Heart vs. the Real World front cover

Max Gerber’s My Heart vs. the Real World is a photo documentary volume that explores the lives of children with congenital heart disease (CHD) through striking black-and-white photographs and interviews with subjects and their families. Congenital heart defects are the most common of all birth defects, occurring in one out of every 115 to 150 births. Every year over 25,000 CHD children are born in the U.S.

“Max Gerber’s powerful portraits of children are intimate and beautiful. No other photographer could have made as strong a statement about these children. Max has lived their experiences, and he has shared his life with us through these sensitive and beautifully executed images. We get to know these children, we see them grow, we see their strength and their beauty.”

—Mary Ellen Mark, photographer

Ten chapters each spotlight a single child and in an additional chapter, the author writes about his own experience of growing up and living with CHD. The images and personal accounts reveal how, compared with someone healthy, a chronically ill child develops adult attitudes in a much different way. These are stories of how CHD patients and their families cope with and overcome extraordinary obstacles and learn about themselves during the process.

My Heart vs. the Real World Ali

My Heart vs. the Real World is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always thought-provoking, and altogether human.


  1. I am the mother to two toddlers (3 and 2). Both of my girls were born with Tetralogy of Fallot and both now have pacemakers. I look forward to reading your book.

    Comment by Heather — June 19, 2008 @ 5:39 am

  2. Max,
    I was forwarded your new book info from a friend who saw you on Charlie Rose. I am the mother of a 10 year old with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. I am looking forward to reading your book as well. I’d like to see if it would be something I could get Jack. He hates to talk about anything having to do with his heart. He wants to be “normal”, which I think he does a good job of. What a great service you are doing for these young people. I think they all want to feel like they aren’t the only ones having to deal with the health of their hearts.

    Comment by Wendy — June 30, 2008 @ 8:23 pm

  3. I happened to be browsing on the Midwest Heart Connection website, and saw this link. I instantly searched our local bookstores to find a copy for my 13 year old daughter, who is an HLHS variant. I can’t WAIT to read it! Thank you so much for creating this book, and creating a voice for our kids.

    Comment by Sue Petersen — November 27, 2010 @ 8:36 am

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