I have to tell you.... I received your book last Saturday and immediately started reading upon opening the Amazon box.... we had to go out that
night, so I was not able to pick it up again until Monday evening.... in just 2 sittings I read your book cover to cover. I would have responded
sooner were it not for my pc blowing up midday on Monday.
I really do not know where to begin trying to communicate to you how much I have been affected by your story; it has actually been "haunting me" (in a very positive way) ever since I finished it Monday.
Your reminiscing on growing up in Rumson and your love of the ocean and surfing was perfect, which made it so easy for me to relate. Seeing the pictures from your childhood with your family brought back so many memories... that picture of you doing a bottom turn I can recall so vividly.
Learning of the details of your tragic AVM injury and the subsequent fall out in your personal & professional lives breaks my heart... however, I am entirely inspired by your ability to avoid being bitter towards your ex-wife and your former investment partners.... honestly, I don't think I have it in me to be as forgiving as you and for that simple, but not singular reason, your unique heart speaks volumes of your exceptional soul.
I think your determination to overcome the many hurdles in your recovery is astounding... your never give up attitude or your unwillingness to accept a doctor's prognosis as written in stone is
more than admirable... words escape me in an attempt to put a mere label on that drive of yours... and it is to this end that I am proud to say I knew you when and even more significant to say I know you NOW...
Additionally, seeing the dedication and love given to you by your mom and the rest of your family makes it easy to see where you got your character... your parents, Ginger, Mark & Billy are wonderful people!
Thank you for your story, it is truly an honor to say I know some one of your caliber and can say you are a friend.
I look forward to the next time I am down in New Jersey so I can hopefully meet you for dinner.
Thank you for writing "Determination". My AVM in the brain stem occurred at age 42 when I was a corporate attorney. My doctor at Mayo Clinic told me I lived by 1 mm. So now I am 60 and do my "therapy" daily.
I shed a lot of tears as I read your book and remembered what similarities we went through. In the end, I totally agree with you. I am not bitter and I do not and will not give up! I agree that God has given us a second chance in our life. He got my attention and I too try to help others.
P. S. I know your mom and dad. It's wonderful to have parents and siblings. They never give up either.
Dear Keith, It's 7:45 a.m. and I've just finished your book. I started last night when I came home from having seen you at Val's, what a wonderful "read" (as they say) : )
You now have more "D's" in your life - Diane Dey - Like you, the love of my life - Bill left me with four young kids to raise on my own. No, it wasn't easy - but again - like you - my faith in God and my friends saw me through.
Yes, you are indeed an amazing young man, whom I've always admired from the time you were very young - but even more now!
Your book was very enjoyable and inspirational to this old gal, who has always enjoyed knowing your mom and dad, and considered them close friends. Your grandmother Sissi was also quite a gal!
You came from "good stock" kiddo - and you've proven it!
I am off to my daily mass at which I will continue praying for you! And I'll expect you'll do the same for me.
Long may we both wave!
Glowingly and lovingly,
Lucky you - you are getting the first fan letter I have ever written to an author!
When I bought your book at Val's I had no idea it would mean so much to me. After all, there are lots of accounts out there about people who have overcome adversity. But now that I have finished reading your story I feel compelled to write.
My father's career was in education, but his true love was sports. He was small and scrappy and excelled in baseball, basketball, and track. He played second base for Yale in the very first College World Series Baseball Championship.
In his late fifties he noticed his thumb shook, Big Deal! Then a couple of years later he went after a tennis ball and fell on the court. He was mystified: how could he _ Mr. Coordination - have misjudged so badly? It turned out he had Parkinson's disease. No hope for a cure, the disease would only get progressively worse.
But he was exactly like you. He refused to give in to the disease or to depression. He worked and worked in every way possible to make his live as livable as possible. And when he finally had to be cared for in a home, he went around trying to help everyone else there - the people he thought were even worse off.
He always told us - like you - that the world was divided into givers and takers. Like you, he was a giver. He taught us never to quit. When he was young his friends would tell him he was so "lucky " in sports - but he was just like you, he knew is wasn't luck but his ability to do something over and over and over again until he had it right.
Wen he was really bad one day I took him to a store he wanted to go to. He had to maneuver his body in about 400 ways before he managed to launch himself out of the car seat. When he finally got up and was holding precariously onto his walker he looked at me and grinned. "Piece of cake," he said.
I feel that you are a younger version of my father. He would have loved to play golf with you. He would have been so inspired by your book.
So thanks for writing the book, Keith. Thank you for reminding me of my father, and for keeping on with the fight - you are a true winner.
I certainly won't say I hope you will continue to get better every day, because with your attitude and strength of character, I am absolutely sure you will continue to get better every day.