What would you do if you were told you had a terminal disease in your twenties and given three years to live? What would you do if your doctor told you to go home and plan your funeral? Jeff Lester, diagnosed with ALS in 1993, faced this dilemma when he was twenty-six. Unmarried and childless, he was advised to plan a party, since that's all Jeff could look forward to with the remaining part of his life.
The day Jeff Lester was diagnosed with ALS started his darkest days. Life was over in his mind at that moment. The prospects were bleak. When the doctor told Jeff that he would be lucky to see the age of thirty, so plan a big party as a pseudo funeral. What? When someone doesn't have much life experience to celebrate, that advice falls flat. Jeff was adrift in despair, thus started his winter of discontent. Who would blame him for giving up? Something happened on the way to his funeral.
GOD HAD OTHER PLANS!
Jeff's story is about the destruction of the life he expected to live then rebuilding a new, more purposeful life out of its ashes. Along the way, he weathers massive storms and overcomes what seems to most people insurmountable odds. It occurs while he endures the daily challenges created by the devastation from one of the worst diseases experienced.
Ultimately, it is a story about being led into the light emerging from the darkness that enveloped his life even before ALS entered it. Jeff learns to focus on the blessings in his life instead of what he has lost and the difficulties he faces. Jeff shares the lessons he learned and what is essential to living a happy and fulfilling life with a higher purpose.
Idea/Concept: An extraordinary survivor is at the heart of this poignant yet uplifting story of outliving a medical prognosis. Vibrant life emanates from every page, making this an astounding accomplishment that proves the will to live overrides all else.
Prose: Incredibly powerful, this articulate narrative explores every aspect of managing ALS, delving into the practical as well as emotional problems that arise. A straightforward use of language empowers the text, concealing little, divulging even the most uncomfortable incidents.
Originality: This day-to-day description of the devastating impact of ALS alternately enlightens and disturbs readers. Frank discussion, detailed and graphic, educates the unfamiliar, while demonstrating that no doctor’s opinion is final and a worthwhile existence is possible—an original endeavor.
Execution: Utilizing specialized computer technology, this candid memoir written by a resilient man afflicted with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, inspires and motivates. Deeply moving, often religious, the book may risk limiting its audience through its tendency to expound on Christian doctrine.
Date Submitted: November 26, 2019