Jenny Smith was a typical teenager—a gymnast and athlete who loved hair and makeup, played in a band, and was active in her church youth group.
Then one bright summer morning, a spinal cord injury left her paralyzed from the chest down and dependent on others for her most basic needs. Privacy and independence seemed like things of the past.
But Jenny refused to give up or give in to her disability, and over time she discovered that a wheelchair could take her places she’d never dared to imagine. She’s traveled multiple times to Afghanistan and Mexico for wheelchair distributions and sports camps, and even rolled the New York City runway as a model during Fashion Week.
Today, Jenny Smith is a spokesperson for independent and vibrant living with a disability. Her speeches, articles, and social media presence have touched thousands of lives.
In Live the Impossible, Smith shares what it looks like to live with paralysis, from the everyday details most people never think about, to the countless people who have impacted her life along the way. With honesty and humor, faith and fortitude, Jenny shows us how we can all live the impossible, even when life doesn’t go as planned.
My thoughts: I really enjoyed Jenny Smith's story about her life and how honest she was about the struggles that she has faced after being paralyzed from the waist down in high school. I can only imagine what it must of been like to face such an injury at such a young age! As a parent, I found myself imagining what her parents must of gone through at that time as well. I loved how they banded together, with the help of her grandma, to help Jenny.
I thought that this book was well written and I appreciated all the information Jenny shares to educate others on what life is like for her and others who have had a spinal cord injury. This book definitely opened my eyes and made me look at the world around me in a whole new light.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. This is my honest review.
Click here to get your copy! This post contains affiliate links.
About the Author
Jenny Smith is an advocate, peer mentor, and encourager for those living with spinal cord injuries, and anyone who has faced unexpected or seemingly impossible challenges. Her popular blog and YouTube channel, Jenny Smith Rolls On, explore the practical aspects of life as a quadriplegic. She also speaks to associations and businesses, schools and universities, and faith-based groups. Jenny works full-time supporting and encouraging cross-cultural workers. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she rows on the Ohio River with the Louisville Adaptive Rowing program.
You can find out more at www.jennysmithrollson.com.
More from Jenny
“I will never write a book.”
I can’t tell you how many times I said those words. How and why did I publish a book after saying I will never so many times?
For several years, I was writing as a side job for a medical supply company. To learn more about the craft of writing, I signed up for an online class. The instructor invited me to take her next class on writing your life story.
That’s when it happened. I felt a little tap on my shoulder and heard—or felt—the words, “It’s time.”
Since my spinal cord injury at the age of 16, I said never and that’s impossible innumerable times. I had said the words before traveling to Mexico and Afghanistan. As I dreamed of living independently as a quadriplegic. I’d said never to playing wheelchair tennis, rugby, and para-rowing. My words that’s impossible and never were proved wrong time and again.
So I started writing.
It turns out I’ve lived what I believed was impossible.
In July 2021, on the 32nd anniversary of my spinal cord injury, my family, friends, and community celebrated with me at the launch party for my memoir Live the Impossible.
Although the book centers on my story of becoming a quadriplegic at 16 and the trials and adventures that followed, the lessons I learned in the years to come are universal:
- How I found my identity
- The importance of taking a risk
- How I became comfortable in my own body
- Acknowledging I have little to offer and yet seeing God do things I could never imagine
We all have unexpected circumstances in life. But I believe we can all live the impossible, even when life doesn’t go as planned.
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Texas Book-aholic, January 19
An Author’s Take, January 20
Inklings and notions, January 21
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, January 21
deb’s Book Review, January 22
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, January 23
A Modern Day Fairy Tale, January 25 (Spotlight)
For Him and My Family, January 26
Lots of Helpers, January 27
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, January 27
Library Lady’s Kid Lit, January 28
Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, January 29
Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, January 30
Spoken from the Heart, January 30
Locks, Hooks and Books, January 31
To celebrate her tour, Jenny is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.