Twenty-seven-year-old Sarah The barge had it all - a loving boyfriend, an Ivy League degree, and a successful career - when her life was derailed by an unthinkable diagnosis: aggressive breast cancer. After surviving the grueling treatments - though just barely - Sarah moved to Portland, Oregon to start over. There, a chance encounter with an exhausted African mother and her daughters transformed her life again.
A Somali refugee whose husband had left her, Hadhi was struggling to raise five young daughters, half a world a way from her war-torn homeland. Alone in a strange country, Hadhi and the girls were on the brink of starvation in their own home, "invisible" to their neighbors and to the world. As Sarah helped Hadhi and the girls navigate American life, her outreach to the family became a source of courage and a lifeline for herself.
Poignant, at times shattering, Sarah The barge's riveting memoir invites readers to engage in her story of finding connection, love, and redemption in the most unexpected places.
About the Author
Sarah Thebarge is an international speaker and the author of The Invisible Girls, named a World Magazine 2013 Notable Book. Sarah earned her physician assistant degree at Yale and was studying journalism at Columbia when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. In spite of nearly losing her life to cancer, she went on to care for refugees in the United States and provide medical care to people living in the developing world. In addition to practicing medicine in Togo, she served in the Dominican Republic and started a clinic in Kenya for children who lost their parents to AIDS. Sarah is a spokesperson for Compassion International. She returns to San Francisco when she is not traveling the world.
"This memoir combines good writing, dramatic events, and a thoughtful response to them."—World Magazine
"Wonderfully written, the book will have you staring through it, into a world that seems to have been made new. I am grateful there are new writers in the world like Sarah Thebarge. You'll get caught up in the strength of her kindness and the girls she describes even as we gain our focus to slowly see them, and so many others, for ourselves."—Don Miller, author of Storyline and Blue Like Jazz
"Intertwining her own excruciating story of loss and rejection with the stirring story of a family of Somali refugees, The Invisible Girls is a testament to unwavering tenacity, resilient faith, and ineffable grace."—Karen Spears Zacharias, author of The Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder
"Honest, enlightening, heart-touching and, at just the right times, funny. Sarah's expertly-crafted sentences sing and sometimes sting, flowing smoothly, then suddenly jumping off the page. The interweaving of her story with that of a Somali mother and daughters is masterful. This isn't the American dream. It's a vibrant and authentic story of loss, disenchantment, discovery, and a reawakening of faith and hope."—Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven and If God is Good
"I picked up Invisible Girls and could not put it down. Thebarge fixes a loving eye on a family of Somali girls and an unflinching eye on her harrowing ordeal with breast cancer. No one can lead you out of a desert better than the one who's already been there. Beautiful writer, beautiful book, beautiful soul."—Susan E. Isaacs, author of Angry Conversations With God
"A raw, honest and powerful witness of the dangerous mercy of God...Her story will humble you and inspire you."—Rick McKinley, Lead Pastor of Imago Dei Community in Portland, OR and author of A Kingdom Called Desire and This Beautiful Mess