a Mother and Daughter’s Journey Through Illness


One Step Beyond is an authentic account of a teenage girl’s journey through a devastating health diagnosis in the prime of her adolescence and of a mother's unwavering determination to save her daughter's life.

Personal journal entries written by Allison Kelba and her mom, Terry Ducharme, reveal the optimism, light-hearted humour, and practical wisdom both women drew upon time and again while confronting recurring hurdles and heartbreaking setbacks. Kelba’s more recent tragic loss of the person most dear to her forms part of the women’s shared story.

Allison Kelba
One Step Beyond is a poignant and richly personal story that will move readers from beginning to end. The memoir is filled with wise insights, light-spirited humour, hard truths, and inspiring love. I cried each and every time I read this book, from early draft to the completed design proof. Deeply satisfying. Allison Kelba is a bright light.
Barbara Kmiec
… A story of determination, strength, and love.
Lorraine Lukacs
As a professional who worked with cancer patients for many years, I was moved by the authenticity of the voices in One Step Beyond, which reveals the trials and tribulations of one teenage girl battling brain cancer. The unvarnished truth is shared in real time through the personal diaries of both 16-year-old Kelba and her mother from the time of diagnosis and treatment. The author looks back on the experience decades later, and the tale that unfolds offers gems of wisdom, hope and humour. The invitation into the lived internal experiences of a daughter and her mother sets this book above and apart from other illness biographies and reveals the bigger story about cancer and its impacts on the whole family. I heartily recommend this book to anyone navigating the cancer journey.
Psychologist and Nurse
Dr. Spencer Wade

About the Author

As a long-time survivor of a brain tumour that greatly impacted her teenage years and adulthood beyond, Allison Kelba has a unique and compelling story to share. She relied on her positive attitude and optimistic spirit to successfully navigate sobering diagnoses and numerous medical treatments as well as her subsequent hard-won recovery and challenging journey through early adult life. Her mom, Terry Ducharme, stood by her every step of the way. Kelba’s more recent experience of losing the person most dear to her to cancer forms part of her story. Through her choice of opening up to readers in a deeply personal and vulnerable way, she hopes others undergoing similar challenges may find something that points them in the direction of their own strengths and resources. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Kelba now lives in Burnaby, British Columbia with her cat Penelope.

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