"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
—Eleanor Roosevelt

Battle for Grace: A Memoir of Pain, Redemption and Impossible Love

Battle for Grace is a gut-wrenching memoir about excruciating pain, remarkable redemption and impossible love, told warts and all by the two people who lived it.

The book describes a journey that took Cynthia Toussaint and her life partner John Garrett to depths that could have ended their lives, but instead are giving hope to millions of women around the world. Hope borne out of devastating pain that‘s been overcome by a brave love for each other and for life.

All of Cynthia Toussaint’s net proceeds from the sale of this book go to For Grace.

Book Description

Battle for Grace is about a seven-year-old girl who sees Funny Girl and has a dream.  To act, to dance and to sing.

It’s also about how she becomes a woman whose life is virtually destroyed by a crippling mystery illness and how she fights the institutions that failed her.  A woman who has lived an almost impossible love story that began before her illness. Somehow she and the man who is her reason for living, her caregiver and her partner in life have managed to stick together for more than thirty difficult years.

About the Authors

Battle for Grace author Cynthia Toussaint

National bestseller and co-writer Linden Gross

Additional contributions by John Garrett


What They’re Saying…

“This is an inspirational book in which Cynthia Toussaint provides living proof that with courage and determination, supported by love, anything is possible. I hope you will read Battle for Grace.”
—Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, Founder – the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace,

“I identify strongly with Cynthia’s experiences since I’ve endured fifty-six years of living with a disability after a skiing accident left me a quadriplegic. Our competitive spirits have helped us triumph over our severe physical problems. By telling her story, as I did, Cynthia is helping millions of others to never give up on their dreams.”
—Jill Kinmont Boothe, Alpine ski racer who inspired The Other Side of the Mountain

“Battle for Grace—Cynthia’s journey and story—is a true testament to the strength of the human spirit. Cynthia is at once honest, determined, raw and inspiring. You will find yourself rooting for her through the challenges and delighting in the victories.”
– Beth Darnall, PhD, clinical associate professor, Division of Pain Management, Stanford University

“Be forewarned: Reading Cynthia’s memoir will break your heart. Yet despite her agony, she has not only survived, but thrived. She gives hope and courage to other women in pain.”
– Cheryl England, editor/publisher, Southern California Physician

“Cynthia Toussaint’s life is one of the most incredible stories I’ve ever heard. Her passion for life and for helping others—even in the face of seemingly insurmountable hardship and devastating pain—can inspire all of us. Her life story also sheds light on the shortcomings of a health system that too often fails to meet the needs of patients such as herself.”
– David Olmos, former health editor of the Los Angeles Times & Pulitzer Prize finalist

“I enjoyed Battle for Grace because it looks deeply not just at the person experiencing pain, but also at the caregiver who shares in the experience. I appreciate the degree to which the love between the two people in this story promotes their healing.”
– Kevin Dobson, actor

“Battle for Grace shines a light on the plight of women in pain and the perseverance it takes to change the system.  This is a story of hope and success. In a word, inspirational.”
– California Senator Carol Liu

More of "What They're Saying"

“Cynthia’s book depicts how life-changing pain can be and the importance of hope, courage and an openness to new treatments. Expressing pain in words can be remarkably healing as Battle for Grace reveals.”
– Paul J. Christo, MD, MBA, host, Aches and Gains Radio Show, associate professor, Division of Pain Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, http://www.paulchristomd.com

“Loneliness…trapped…despair…fear. These are the reactions I hear from my chronic pain patients. This book is part of Ms. Toussaint’s journey to get beyond her fear and despair. Her book will inspire, comfort and inject hope into the lives of my patients and their loved ones. I call it required reading for their healthcare providers!”
– Steven Richeimer, M.D., chief, Division of Pain Medicine, University of Southern California

“Chronic pain’s impact on society is enormous. More than anything else, we need champions who will speak to the millions whose lives have been devastated. Battle for Grace answers that call.”
– Penney Cowan, executive director, American Chronic Pain Association

“Pain management is still an uncharted territory in medicine—ask anyone who has chronic pain. Cynthia’s story is maddening, but provides hope for everyone who deals with pain and, like she, has learned to conquer an unseen enemy.”
– Tiiu Leek, actress and former Los Angeles newscaster

“Undaunted by pain, disability, or the tyranny rampant in our broken healthcare system, Cynthia tells it all in this book. She speaks with the authority of a survivor and the conviction of a saint. Purveyors of healthcare injustice beware.”
– Don Schroeder, PhD., producer, The Healthcare Solution: California OneCare, founding chapter co-director, Health Care for All–California

“Cynthia’s book speaks for all women in pain. Women who not only suffer physically, but who also struggle with finding the right doctors—doctors who take them seriously and don’t brush them off with ‘it’s all in your head.’”
– Diane Hoffmann, law professor, University of Maryland, and co-author of the report, The Girl Who Cried Pain: A Bias Against Women in the Treatment of Pain

“It takes a remarkable and special individual to rise above a debilitating disease and dedicate her life to helping others. That’s Cynthia Toussaint and this goes for her man, John, as well. His commitment to Cynthia and Battle for Grace is beautiful.”
– California Senator Liz Figueroa

“Several years ago, Cynthia spoke at Women In Government’s annual conference, bringing a new, deeper understanding of pain to our membership of legislators.  I was moved to tears, and felt especially blessed to have met Cynthia shortly after I started experiencing persistent pain. Her book comforts all of us.”
– Joy Newton, founder, Women In Government

“It’s been an honor to work with Cynthia Toussaint over the past three years to forge legislation that will improve access to care for people with pain. Cynthia’s inspiring story moves the most thick-skinned legislators and brings hope and encouragement to everyone challenged by pain and difficulties.”
– U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman

“Battle for Grace tells how Cynthia Toussaint’s commitment to expose the HMO industry’s wrongdoings helped move public opinion that created historic change here in California and beyond. Her courage took her own great misfortune at the hands of a failed healthcare system to give a voice to others trapped by these profit-driven corporations.”
– Jamie Court, president, ConsumerWatchdog.com & co-author of Making A Killing: HMOs and the Threat to Your Health

“Ms. Toussaint’s testimony before the California Senate on the disparate treatment of women in pain was a pivotal event. She continues to be a strong advocate for change, particularly for a single payer system in California. Her book speaks volumes about this.”
– California Senator Sheila Kuehl


Web Discovery 2

Battle for Grace Authors Featured on the Discovery Channel Cynthia Toussaint and John Garrett’s 31-year pain and caregiving story is profiled in this groundbreaking one-hour documentary Pain Matters. Battle for Grace inspired the final segment of this film that is a must-see for people with pain, their loved ones and healthcare professionals. Pain Matters is  available @ http://www.painmatters.com

Media & Speaking Engagements

When Bodies Break: How We Survive & Thrive With Illness & Disability – January 2019
“My Battle for Grace”

Managing Pain Magazine – March 2018
“Voices of Pain”

DrJoeTatta.com – September 2017
“Remember Self-Care: The Most Important Part of Chronic Pain Treatment and Relief”

KPFK-FM – September 2017
“Access Unlimited”

Patient to Patient Experience Symposium—November 2016
Speaking Engagement

PainPathways Magazine—September 2016
“Spotlight on 3 Valuable Pain Awareness Groups”

KPFK-FM—September 2016
“Access Unlmited”

National Pain Report—September 2016
“My Passion for Distraction”

MariaShriver.com—March 2016
“Remember This Super Bowl Ad? It Showed the Need for Us to Open Our Hearts & Minds”

LoveLettersLive.com—January 2016
“Cynthia Toussaint from fields of torment to permanent beauty and grace”

KBRITE AM—September 2015
“Change Is In the Air with Nicole Smith”

KPFK FM—September 2015
“Access Unlimited”

WSRQ AM—September 2015
“Salt & Light Radio”

Lifescript.com—March 2015
How a Hamstring Tear Derailed a Dancer’s Life

KCAA NBC Radio—September 2014
“Change is in the Air”

Pajama Daze Blog—August 2014
Book Review: Battle for Grace

LA Talk Radio—August 2014
The Mother Love Show

KPFK-FM (Los Angeles, CA)—August 2014
Access Unlimited

NIH Network—May 2014
9th Annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium

9th Annual NIH Pain Consortium Symposium on Advances in Pain Research—May 2014
Speaking Engagement

More of "Media & Speaking Engagements"

National Journal—April 2014
“Stakeholders Offer Solutions to Prescription Drug Abuse”

AMA Wire—April 2014
“Federal lawmakers receive policy recommendations to halt Rx abuse”

Alliance to Prevent the Abuse of Medicines’ Capitol Hill Briefing—April 2014
Keynote Speaker

American Society of Pain Management Nursing’s Southern California Chapter Annual Meeting—March 2014
Speaking Engagement

Pain Advocacy Summit: “Working Together for People With Chronic Pain”—November 2013

HealthCentral.com—September 2013
Battle for Grace: An Interview with Cynthia Toussaint

National Pain Report—September 2013
Getting Real: The Women In Pain Conference

KPFK FM (Los Angeles, CA)—September 2013
“Access Unlimited”

PainResouce.com—September 2013
“Breaking Pointe: Going toe to toe with pain and sharing what she’s learned”

KCAA 1070 AM Radio—August 2013
Change Is In the Air

PainPathways Magazine—Fall 2013
“Getting Real with Pain”

National Pain Report—June 2013
“Why Step Therapy Needs to Stop”

PainPathways Magazine—Summer 2013
“Battle for Grace: A Pain Memoir”

LA Talk Radio—May 2013
The Mother Love Show

California Assembly Health Committee Hearing on Bill AB 889—April 2013

MariaShriver.com—April 2013
Words of Love

National Pain Report—April 2013
A Caregiver’s Journey with Pain and Self-Discovery

PainPathways Magazine—April 2013
“A Pain-Wrecked Life And How Recovery And Love Became Possible”

National Pain Report—April 2013
Abused Women More Susceptible To Pain

National Pain Report—April 2013
One Woman’s Story of a 30-Year Battle with Chronic Pain

PainPathways Magazine—Spring 2013
“Sometimes You Have to Lose Everything to Find Your Life”

A Chronic Dose—March 2013
Battle for Grace

The Shriver Report—March 2013
5 New Can’t-Miss Articles

MariaShriver.com—March 2013
Overcoming Suffering, Battling for Grace