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BOOK CORNER: Author seeks to turn tragedy into something more positive

Arriving in New York after fleeing the terror of the Islamic revolution in Iran, Soheila Adelipour and her family believed the worst was behind them.

Life was great for a while; the kids went to college, worked hard and were successful. Then one tragedy after another hit and within a relatively short period of time, Adelipour had lost her son and two siblings.

Determined to survive in spite of unspeakable loss, she established a foundation in her son’s name that provides healing and salvation for those less fortunate. Receiving accolades from broadcast journalist Barbara Walters, Adelipour’s book, “Dancing to the Darkest Light,” tells her inspiring story of finding happiness in the face of unbearable tragedy. 

Chronicling their experiences in “Dancing to the Darkest Light,” Adelipour recounts how her only brother became a neurosurgeon while others followed different paths. But their successful relocation and the joy they felt over each triumph was soon shattered when the Adelipour’s second son, Stefan, was killed in a dorm room fire before his scheduled graduation from Boston University.

Adelipour channeled her grief into the foundation she established in his name. Soon after, her older sister had to undergo five brain surgeries that left her blind and deaf before ultimately claiming her life.

The same week, their only brother, who was supervising her care was diagnosed with leukemia. Adelipour gave him her bone marrow and 60% of her liver when his liver stopped functioning. Doctors ultimately announced he was cancer-free with a perfectly functioning liver, but the week he was to come home, he died from pneumonia.

How one perseveres under the weight of all this loss is at the core of “Dancing to the Darkest Light.”

“When life plays different music, we have to be fluid and dance to the new tune,” Adelipour said.

Adelipour received her bachelor’s degree in business and her master’s degree in art gallery management while her first two children were in diapers. She was involved with the World of Arts and Antiques in New York City and followed that by operating high-end gift stores.

“Dancing to the Darkest Light” is available through Amazon and other book retailers.