About Me

I’m an award winning magazine writer, with articles published in over twenty national publications, including Glamour, Self, Parents, Health, In Style, Newsweek and the New York Post. Recent honors have included being a finalist in the 2012 National Magazine Awards (considered the top honor in magazine journalism) for a piece I did for Redbook on the upswing in “mommy tucks” and a recipient of the prestigious Front Page Award from the Newswomen’s Club of New York for a series for Health magazine. I usually write about health and fitness, although occasionally I do write about something completely different and random (like a resurgence in swinging in last March’s issue of Self). I feel lucky that I have a career that lets me work from home and be near the kids. Quite frankly, with all of Johanna’s therapies I would have struggled had it been any other way.

Before I had kids, I was an avid runner (three time marathoner) and sometimes triathlete. I’ve also gone sky diving and bungee jumping in Queensland, dove with sharks in Australia, and been thisclose to ferocious wild lions in an African safari. Today, my live is much less glamorous–and much more focused on the mundane like poopy diapers and spit up. But it’s still fun.

Responses

  1. your kids are beautiful! good luck with the blog!

  2. Hi Hallie,
    I found your blog via your piece in Parenting. I just thought I’d stop by and say hi and to say that I’ve enjoyed your writing here-the Sesame Place piece was hilarious and SO true. I also wanted to say that I’m in NJ and also work in magazines. It’s a small world!
    Hope Johanna is feeling better, and I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  3. Hallie, your masterful writing about JO-JO goes right to my heart, Grandpa David

  4. I, like the comment up above, found your blog due to an article you had written for Parents Magazine. I like to read about your candid experiences with Down Syndrome. I have 2 wonderful boys, ages 6 1/2 and 2 1/2. Our younger son has Downs. I love to read anything inspiring about DS. Thanks.

  5. Hello, I have a quick question for you about your site. If you could please get back to me at your earliest convenience I would greatly appreciate it. Have a great day!

    Thanks,
    Emily Patterson
    Marketing Support Coordinator
    Primrose Schools

  6. In 2000 a writer, Hallie Levine, wrote an article in YM about a girl who had Narcolepsy. I did a google search for the name and found this blog. Do you happen to be the person who wrote the article?

    • yes I am! Is this the Hannah I interviewed? If so how are you doing?

  7. Yes, it is me. I am doing well. I was thinking about the article you wrote back then and thinking about it now makes me laugh… I couldn’t resist looking you up.

  8. Hello, I read your story in LHJ. I also have a special needs child who is now a teen. You can’t tell what his special need is because it’s inside him. I too had mom’s not invite us to playdates because my boy was “too hyper”. I Got The Look everywhere we went. My husband never noticed The Look but I did. I was hypersensitive to it and maybe even looked for it in people’s eyes. Ithought he was so wonderful but unfortunately others (friends and strangers) didn’t. People are “funny” and not in a haha way.

  9. I just read about the story about your DARLING JOJO in the April Ladies Home Journal. Im not really sure what to say that you don’t already know: you know Johanna is a beautiful little person, you know she’s full of hopes & dreams, you know she’s made exactly the way she was intended to be made. I do too!! I love her sweet little face and her beautiful eyes. It breaks my heart that everyone can’t see how perfect she is. I’m sure it has been hard at times to not scream from the top of your lungs that she is who she is and deserves just as much respect & compassion as the “normal” kids. That’s such a bad word. Normal. Who made that definition apply to people, anyway?? Sorry… I’ll quit ranting. My original intent was to just say thank you for the story!!

    By the way, I love her name. I have a good friend named Jojo too. (And yes, her real name is Johanna!!)

  10. Hi,
    I’ve read your article about back pain. I have to say that it is pretty incorrect to think that “Women are particularly susceptible to pain because they lug around extra weight every day…” NO 1 back pain reason is unconscious physiological state of the person. And the reason women have more back pain is not because the purses etc. It is same reason why mostly women get fibromyalgia. 9 in 10 people with back pain that I see having it only because of the internal state of the mind. Sigmund Freud cured these kind issues 120 years ago and today there are doctors doing it as well but not many. Most people [you included] looking at the back issues as physical-only matter. Sometimes [like with disc herniations] it is only a trigger but once physiological factor is removed, the herniation is not causing much pain anymore. Take things like fibromyalgia, mid-life crisis and even carpal tunnel syndrome. I’ve seen people miraculously recovering from all 3 of these without surgery or medication, with only physiological, cognitive therapy. Look seriously at works of Dr. John Sarno. This man is a genius medical community dismisses unfortunately. Not everyone supported Darwin either.
    Thankfully, his works were noted by some members of the government and on Feb14 Dr Sarno was in congressional hearings.

  11. I have read your article in LHJ and I wanted to let you know how blessed you are to have JoJo. I used to coach Special Olympics gymnastics when I was 18 and all I remember is how blessed I was to have those kids teach me all that they did. I built fantastic relationships with them and stayed in touch for years to come. Finally, at the age of 35, I realized my passion and went back to get my Masters in SPED. I have been teaching for 6 years now and have not once woke up and felt that “ugh, I have to go to work feeling”….I really love what I do, I would like to start an organization that will make a difference in the lives of children that get looked at differently in public, a place for them to feel normal and allow others to see their amazing beauty! Continue to count your blessings each day, counting Jo Jo twice (she sure will bring you joy and amazement). Let me know if you have any sources I should contact. God Bless! – Lisa

  12. amen —- grandpa

  13. I was recently reading your article in the June issue of HEALTH magazine, about “Your Knees”. It was very informative and wonder if there is a website that I could pass on with this information. My husband is currently working in Columbia So. America and is having a problem with one of his knees. Would like to refer some info to him to read that might help.
    Thank you, Cris

  14. I’m looking for the Hallie Levine who was a photographer at MacDowell Arts Colony in 1989 or so. Have i found the right person? She photographed me. Now the photograph is in a film about my music. Please contact me if this is my Hallie, thanks, Bunita Marcus
    B@bunitamarcus.com

  15. Hi Hallie,

    Today, during Sandy, the East Coast “Frankenstorm” I was working on my vision boards. As I was leafing through the LHJ I saw Jojo and my immediate thought was…. She is adorable, simply gorgeous and look at the life in her that they captured in these pictures… Then I read your article. Granted, I am a Speech Pathologist who works with all kids including Down’s but Jojo took my breath away!!! And all that…… before I read the article.

    Just thought you should know how some of us appreciate and love kid’s like Jojo’s unique gifts and lessons. I never cease to be amazed at the what I can learn from them every day. She is lucky to have you.

    Have a great day!!
    Vonnie

  16. Hallie,
    I found your piece through parenting.com and wanted to reach out. It’s been so long and I’d love to be back in touch. Your writing is as strong as ever. Would love to connect.
    Lauren Keller Galit

  17. Hallie,
    I found your blog because I was searching for more information about raising a child with Down syndrome. My husband and I found out yesterday that our baby girl, which we are expecting in September has Ds. It’s been an emotional 24 hours to say the least. And I am hungry for any information I can get.

    So much of what’s out there is either incredibly frightening and dismal or all rose colored glasses and flowers. I read a post you wrote about how your little JoJo is no angel. Some woman stopped you on the beach and spouted off a whole series of stereotypes about what a precious angel she is etc.

    What I appreciated about your post is that you were honest. JoJo had a meltdown in front of that lady and hit her brother with a shovel, as many small children do when they are playing (or fighting) with siblings. I like how you admitted that JoJo isn’t some special gift from God because she has an extra chromosome. She’s a gift and you love her because she is your daughter.

    Anyway, I really needed to hear that. This is my first child. And it could be my only child. I’m 39. And I’ll admit that I’ve been mourning the loss of the “typical” daughter, I expected to have. So I especially loved your post about going to American Girl. It’s also been a dream of mine to take my daughter there and to play with all those fun dolls and accessories. Your story reminded me that whatever my daughter’s chromosomal diagnosis is, she will still be my daughter. And she will be a little girl, who potentially will love American Girl and all other girlie things as much as I do. We will still be able to share those memories.

    I’m still processing everything. I am so scared and worried about what the future holds for me, my husband and my daughter. And I can only hope that I will look back on this time as you said that you do and just think that the worry was all so unnecessary, because you love her. And she is amazing because she is your daughter. Anyway, thanks so much. If there is a way to connect with you directly, please let me know. I will continue to read your blog, but I’d also love to hear from you directly. Thanks.

    Maggie Reardon Gaines

  18. Hallie,

    Thank you for your brilliant article, “The Doctor Is Out There.” I am the communications director for the Center for Connected Health Policy (CCHP), and your article made record time through our office (our telehealth care policy director said that telehealth’s role in your article “is better than [being in the] ‘New England Journal of Medicine’”). We recently completed a study about telehealth programs for rural ICUs, including pediatric ICU cases, and your article echoed a lot of our findings. Thanks again for bringing attention to a fantastic, effective way to care for our children.

    All the best,
    Kala

  19. Hello Hallie,
    Your children are all very beautiful.
    My husband and I have a son who has ocular albinism, it has been an interesting trek through the last 12 years of school. It has been awesome and sometimes scary to watch him grow into the young man he is today. Life can be tough on young children who deal with added disabilities, it makes me very happy that my son has grown up to be a bright, kind and very insightful young man despite his differences. He is very rarely angry or ugly to others, and I think what he has dealt with in life has made him to be the very kind young man he is.
    Thank you for putting your life in words so that other mothers can see that there are so many wonderful children like their own running around this world. Take care, and I hope that your beautiful children bring you many laughs, smiles as well as tears at times.
    Chris Bush


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