Chronic Hope

Chronic HOPE

Raising a Child with Chronic Illness with Grace, Courage, and Love

Chronic Hope is a long drink of cool water for the parent thirsting for practical wisdom in navigating the emotional stress of raising their chronically ill child.

Through story and reflection, Bonnie gently shares a vision of navigating chronic disease with strength, resilience and loving self-sacrifice.

Chronic Hope delivers practical insight and solutions while avoiding the tone of a typical self-help book. Instead, it reads like a conversation with a friend, where one parent’s stories give the other parent permission to feel the full range of their emotions and encourages them to discover hope in the long journey. Through story and reflection, Bonnie gently shares a vision of navigating chronic disease with strength, resilience and loving self-sacrifice.

Chronic Hope leverages one family’s journey raising a child with chronic illness and provides readers the tools necessary to process their own emotional responses to the unexpected path ahead of them. 

Thematically, Chronic Hope begins deep within the heart of the caregiver and gradually works itself outward into each relationship within the family, and eventually into the wider world.


Chronic Hope offers a fresh vision of hope in the darkest valleys of illness, suffering, and broken dreams.

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Bonnie O’Neil


Bonnie uses her personal experience as a caregiver to introduce topics, themes, and strategies. Her kitchen table wisdom has the tone of a friend who’s been there―a fellow parent who truly understands.

Readers witness Bonnie’s mistakes and missteps, glean from her revelations, and find inspiration in the principles and attitudes she begins to apply to everyday situations.



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Podcast Interviews

What others are saying about Chronic Hope 

We can all learn about navigating the most difficult of circumstances from Bonnie O’Neil and her beautiful writing in Chronic Hope. Grounded in the story of three diagnoses of type 1 diabetes in her family, Bonnie teaches us about the power of hope. Her lessons will apply not only to those impacted by diabetes, but importantly, to anyone experiencing dark times and in need of a roadmap to sunlight.

Aaron Kowalski, PhD

JDRF President and Chief Executive Officer

Type 1 diabetes requires around-the-clock care, with life and death decisions being made daily. Caregivers of children living with any chronic disease have a unique burden, taking an emotional toll for which there has never been a clear guide. Chronic Hope is that guide; Bonnie’s experiences, advice, and insight form an invaluable resource for parents of the recently diagnosed, as well as seasoned caregivers experiencing burnout.

Thom Scher

CEO of Beyond Type 1

In Chronic Hope, Bonnie O’Neil describes with firsthand experience how parents’ natural desires for their children to lead happy and fulfilling lives can be challenged in myriad ways by a chronic disease. This book is enlightening and ultimately a source of reassurance for parents of children with newly diagnosed conditions as well as anyone who wants to understand their experiences and perspectives.
Derek Rapp

Former CEO of JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation)

Before she was even born, type 1 diabetes was impacting author Bonnie O’Neil’s life. In her new book, Chronic Hope, she takes the reader on a journey from devastation to renewal, providing validation and relief to any family living with chronic illness. Real and raw, her words draw you in and bring a sense comfort, encouragement and belonging. The “Heart to Heart” section at the end of each chapter affords the reader an opportunity to reflect on their own unique journey and offers the practical solutions families crave. Chronic Hope is an authentic guidebook for navigating the choppy waters of chronic illness—a lifeline that will pull you from despair ultimately to hope.  
Sarah Lucas

Co-founder of Beyond Type 1

I want to put Bonnie O’Neil’s book into the hands of every parent I know, whether they parent children with chronic illness or not. Chronic Hope is beautifully written and weighty with hard-earned wisdom. It is deeply personal and widely relevant. But it will be most treasured by parents devastated by a child’s diagnosis, parents worn out by worry or caregiving, and parents who can’t seem to shake their fear and their guilt. Bonnie O’Neil stumbled along that difficult path only to find herself steadied by the persistent presence of hope.

Her story and her book will be a lifeline for many.

Christie Purifoy

Author of Roots and Sky and Placemaker

When a child is diagnosed with chronic disease, parents experience a range of emotions and the entire family dynamic changes. Bonnie O’Neil’s personal anecdotes illustrate this myriad of feelings, so the reader feels validated and not so alone. Bonnie’s wisdom and insight are profound and cannot fail to touch the reader’s heart. Each chapter of Chronic Hope opens with an inspirational quote and ends with thoughtful questions that serve as tools to help the reader examine and process their own feelings. From grief to newfound hope, the reader feels like Bonnie has walked in the same shoes and shared their journey, which offers the reader peace and comfort, and ultimately, hope.
Elizabeth Weiser Caswell

JDRF International Board, Vice Chair of Research

When my family’s life was turned upside down by the impact of type 1 diabetes, we searched for the playbook to tell us all we needed to know for our new reality. While we never found the book we wanted, we were lucky to meet Bonnie O’Neil and gained so much wisdom from her experience. Her new book, Chronic Hope, is a “must have” for every member of a family struck by a chronic disease. Bonnie packs the pages with the ups and downs—and at the end of the book, we are much wiser because of the experience she shares. Chronic Hope is a story of resilience, love, and unstoppable determination.   
Matthew Cohn

JDRF Global Mission Board member and Director Emeritus

Bonnie O’Neil’s Chronic Hope is a brave and generous gift to every parent who has borne the responsibility of raising and caring for a child who suffers from a chronic illness. Speaking to us in a voice tempered by hard experience, Bonnie O’Neil recalls the days and nights of watching and worrying, nights often made sleepless by the duties of care.

Chronic Hope is the story of a journey, tracing an arc that begins in desperation and reaches toward wholeness, toward deep insight, toward the hope of the book’s title. This is an important and beautifully written book, honest, humane, and passionate.

Peter Conn

Author and Vartan Gregorian Professor of English Emeritus and Professor of Education at University of Pennsylvania

Parents with a child whose chronic illness requires constant monitoring and treatment, brings on recurrent crises, and upends family life will find direction and solace in Bonnie O’Neil’s reflections on raising a son with type 1 diabetes. Each chapter recounts a learning moment in the journey of caring for and equipping her son to take over his own arduous treatment. With emotional honesty and the authority of long experience Bonnie offers parents hard-won hope. Readers whose lives haven’t been touched by chronic disease will find their compassion deepened for those who live with illness as a daily, demanding fact of life.
Marilyn McEntyre

Author and Professor of Medical Humanities at UC Berkeley

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