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Tales from the Bed: On Living, Dying, and Having It Allby Jenifer Estess
Synopses & Reviews
Jenifer Estess is a woman on the verge: She's about to launch her own company; she's looking buff and dating vigorously; she's driving in the fast lane — with the top down. At the age of thirty-five, Jenifer dreams of falling in love and starting a family. Then she notices muscle twitches in her legs. Walking down a city block feels exhausting. At first, doctors write off Jenifer's symptoms to stress, but she is quickly diagnosed with ALS, a fatal brain disease that is absolutely untreatable.
Max out your credit cards and see Paris, suggests one doctor. Instead of preparing to die, Jenifer gets busy. She dreams deeper, works harder, and loves endlessly. For Jenifer, being fatally ill is not about letting go. It's about holding on and reaching — for family, friends, goals.
Jenifer's girlhood pact with her sisters Valerie and Meredith — nothing will ever break us apart — guides them as Jenifer faces down one of the most devastating illnesses known to humankind. That same enduring pact inspires the creation of Project A.L.S., a movement started by the sisters that changes the way science and medicine approach research for ALS and the related diseases Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, and which has already raised more than $18 million. Will Project A.L.S. help scientists discover medicine in time for her?
Jenifer answers these questions and others in this beautifully written and wholly inspiring memoir that celebrates a life fuelled by memory. Tales from the Bed forces us to reconsider society's notion of "having it all," and illustrates, more than anything, the importance of endurance, hope, and, most of all, love.
"[A] fast-paced, witty book....The final chapter...is beautiful..." Publishers Weekly
"Estess's amusing and ultimately touching memoir occasionally drops into stereotypically spunky New York girl/celebrity namedropping territory..." Library Journal
"Jenifer's unique wit and self-effacing charm pull you right into this touching and inspiring memoir of her remarkable life." Sarah Jessica Parker
"Once you meet Jenifer Estess you?ll never forget her..." Michael J. Fox, author of Lucky Man
"To read this story is not only to be inspired, it literally makes you see the world around you differently." Ben Stiller
"[This book] is a testament to the courage and humor Jenifer displayed as she endured the devastation of ALS." Christopher Reeve, author of Still Me and Nothing Is Impossible
"Filled with Jenifer's singular grace and exquisite wit, [Tales] had me laughing and crying, often at the same time." Peter Hedges, screenwriter and director of Pieces of April
Jenifer Estess was the quintessential New Yorker — successful executive, single, and thirty-something. She was the go-to girl, on track to achieve her personal goals of a Malibu dream house and the perfect family. Then one night while on a date, she had to walk up four flights of stairs. When she got to the top she was exhausted and soaking with sweat. Jenifer knew something was wrong. Doctors told Jenifer that she had ALS, and to max out her credit cards, take a long trip — and prepare to die. She could have taken doctors' orders. Instead Jenifer chose to fight for her dreams with renewed courage. She has become a soldier in the fight against ALS by drawing on survival skills she learned when she and her sisters were girls. Jenifer writes from her queen-sized bed in Manhattan where, as a paralyzed woman facing her mortality, she see the world. Tales from the Bed tells of her travels; of her hilarious, often surprising, and sometimes heartbreaking encounters with friends and family, lovers, and celebrities; and of her and her sisters' fight to save her life. This entertaining, always moving memoir shows that love — and memory — are the best weapons in the fight against a vicious enemy. Tales from the Bed inspires readers from all walks to reconsider the notion of "having it all."
Despite being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease, successful, single, thirty-something Jenifer chooses to soldier on — even when confined to her bed — to show that love and memory are the best weapons against a vicious enemy.
About the Author
Jenifer Estess was the CEO and founder of Project A.L.S. She lived in New York City, where she spent her best times with Jake, Willis, Jane, James, Kate, and the rest of her family.
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