September 17, 2019

ALS Saved My Life until it didn’t

By Dr. Jenni Kleinman Berebitsky’98
With Joyce Kleinman and Elizabeth Flynn
PB & Js Publishing, 2018

Cover of ?ALS Saved My Life until it didn't? by Dr. Jenni Kleinman Berebitsky?98.

Only one month after finishing her naturopathic medical residency, and with a husband and a 15-month-old son, Dr. Jenni Kleinman Berebitsky’98 found out she had ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Doctors gave her between 18 months to two years to live. That was more than 10 years ago, and with that gift of time, rather than retreat into her illness, she decided to help the rest of us learn how to live.

In addition to being the subject of a documentary, competing in a triathlon with the help of her husband, Jeff, and friends, and becoming a bit of a celebrity in her home city of Indianapolis, Ind., Berebitsky was determined to write this memoir to help others understand what life is like with ALS.

Filled with humor and wisdom, it is also a pragmatic guide for anyone navigating life-altering events. Even the back story of how she wrote it—with the assistance of a journalist and her mother over years of collaboration using technology to project text onto a screen—is a testament to her determination. “For a story of terminal illness, this book is overflowing with joy, optimism, good humor, and the love of life,” writes the author Ben H. Winters.


Also In This Issue

  • Commencement speaker Ruth Hamilton’07 acknowledged students’ place on a cusp as they waited to graduate in mid-May.

    On the Verge of the Next Big Thing

    more
  • Tobias Gurl’12 started advocating for transgender student housing rights at Beloit. Now, he’s moved up to healthcare issues at the statewide level.

    Transgender Advocacy at Beloit Lays the Foundation for Iowa Challenge

    more
  • Tom Dickinson’73 has documented the loss of affordable housing in Arlington, Va., through his photographs.

    Windows to the Past

    more
  • Gjergj Ndoci’20 became a finance and marketing intern at Blackhawk Transportation.

    Summer of Number Crunching and Making Connections

    more

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