A woman with multiple passions, who is constantly on the go; American author, musician, fashionista, lecturer, wife, and mother; Marlo Donato, was born 29 May, 1972, and is the youngest daughter of an Irish mother and Sicilian- American father. Marlo grew up on Long Island, NY and received a BA in classical Music from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, NYC.
Marlo moved to London in 2004, where she carved a career in luxury fashion, whilst recording several EP’s and constantly gigging with her rock band. She began struggling with numbness and vision loss shortly after the move. Later that year, at the age of 32, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, the most common neurological disease amongst young adults today.
From diagnosis, she has been passionate about empowering people with multiple sclerosis to live a full life. She has worked with the UK and US MS Societies, as well as other charities, to raise awareness for MS and disability rights.
She has been honoured by Donna Karan as a 'Woman who inspires,' for her work at raising awareness for MS. She is featured on the DK website amongst the likes of Brooke Shields and Nicole Kidman.
After getting dropped from her literary agent, Marlo self-published Awkward Bitch: My Life with MS in 2009. “The major publishing houses initially felt the book was too ‘niche’; there were not enough people who would read it. I felt it had to be published even if it helped one person.” It has remained on Amazon best seller lists since December of that year (in the US, UK, and Germany). In 2012, Awkward Bitch was translated into Lithuanian and published by Alma Littera under the title Kerėpla: Mano gyvenimas su IS. Marlo donated hundreds of books to be available for Lithuanians with MS as well as their doctors and nurses.
Marlo is a regular in the social media world; with pages on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. She is a popular vlogger on YouTube, where she speaks candidly and amusingly about her daily battles with MS.
Marlo is also an increasingly vocal advocate for Down’s syndrome, as her second child has DS. She has recently teamed up with the Down’s Syndrome Association, in an exciting project to hire people with DS in the workplace, particularly within luxury brands.
In April 2013, Marlo married musician Tim Love in a secret wedding ceremony that was later announced on Facebook and Twitter. Marlo and Tim have two daughters and live happily in London. She is writing her follow up to Awkward Bitch, which is due out in 2014.
"If you are short on time today I will make this easy for you; there is no need to read past the next four words: This book is great.
It is an easy read. It is full of humour, but this is a serious subject and the book tells of Marlo's journey towards that recognition. Congratulations are owed to Marlo for making it so easily readable. If she ever gives up the worlds of fashion and music she could easily make a career as a writer." -Liz Burns, MS Society UK
Sometimes You Have to Laugh Instead of Cry!
"I was very much able to relate to many of Marlo Donato Parmelee's symptoms in Awkward Bitch: My Life With MS. I was diagnosed with MS 2/14/208. I'm so glad she "told it like it is". It was a comfort to know I'm not the only one with these unpleasant habits! I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a laugh."
Great read for people with MS and everyone else!
I wanted to read this book because I was diagnosed with MS 2 years ago and I had never just sat down and read about someone else's experience. Marlo did a great job of really pinning down every feeling, physical and emotional, during her journey to diagnosis and treatment.
My experience, though very different, was similar in so many ways. She really makes you "feel" her uncertainty and confusion. The first symptoms I had I did the same thing, telling myself it was nothing and I was tired and I needed to rest and it would get better. The author really got those feelings across. I also loved that she did not "rush" the book. She let the reader sink in to the descriptions and feelings that she went through and in the end I felt really connected to her experience.
I highly recommend this book to people with MS and those who care for MS patients. It will give you new insight into the whole MS "experience" and let you see how it affects those who struggle with it.
Amazing, educational, honest, and funny book about living with a chronic illness and still being absolutely fabulous. Loved this read and have recommended it to many. Hope she writes a continuation about these next eventful years of her life with MS. What an amazing woman to share her life and very personal experiences in order to encourage and help others.
-Andrea N. Desillas
I laughed, I cried
This was very well written, and put me through quite a plethora of emotions. I couldn't believe the struggles she had to go through. From diagnosis, to treatment, to learning how to deal with MS, it was heartbreaking. It made me understand just how devastating this disease can be, and how lucky I've been with my RRMS. Though it really sucks to be diagnosed! I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to hear someone else's story. Without giving anything away, I walked away from this book feeling a little more sure of my thoughts about stress, and just how much it impacts our health. It also gives quite a few interesting sites for those looking to chat or learn more about MS. Worth the time and money I thought!
BUY AWKWARD BITCH TODAY!!
From the very beginning of our journey together, I enjoyed working with Rae. It is easy to see that her heart and soul are in this. What a pleasure to work with a passionate person. I was interviewed by Kim, who I have to say, asked me some of the best questions I have ever been asked. Between that and speaking to people who read my book, I had a blast. I wished the interview could go on for hours. I truly appreciate all the support I have received here. And yes, I did see increased traffic to my book...and increased sales. A big thanks to Rae and everyone at MSstation!