Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tenacious by Jeremy and Jennifer Williams with Rob Suggs

Cody Wardell
Composition 105

Jeremy and Jennifer Williams with Rob Suggs
Copyright 2013 by Jeremy and Jennifer Williams
270 pages

"Hometowns may not define us forever, but they leave their mark. Time passes; other locales help to sculpt us. But that first community, the setting of our childhood, is the place where our true selves take root. Whoever we may become, we will always be that native son-or daughter- of one specific place and time that is not quite like any other." (19)

My hometown has truly shaped me into the person I am today. My time here in Carroll, Iowa has gone by so fast, but I have learned so much. People here have turned me into the person I am and I truly believe I have surrounded myself with the best friends I could possibly have. In the book Tenacious, the local friends and family of the Williams family helped them through all their hard times. When they were struggling, someone was always making sure that they could help in any way, shape or form. Having people like this, make life a whole lot easier.
Tenacious is a book about the family of Jeremy and Jennifer Williams and their medical struggles. Jeremy and Jennifer have two kids, Jacob and Josie. Jacob was born with Spina Bifida, a congenital defect of the spine in which part of the spinal cord and its meninges are exposed through a gap in the backbone. It causes paralysis of the lower limbs, and sometimes mental handicap. Not only is it a complete struggle for Jacob to get around, it’s even more of a struggle to get around in his own home.
The home that the Williams’ now live is a run down farmhouse built in the 1930’s. The book starts out with the Williams family being encouraged by friends and family to apply for the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Their house was extremely run down and was not very handicap accessible or safe. The Extreme Makeover crew gives them a home makeover and completely turns their hopes around. Not only is Jacob’s disability a family health issue, Jeremy also has ALS(Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Lou Gehrig’s disease is a classic motor neuron disease. Motor neuron diseases are progressive chronic diseases of the nerves that come from the spinal cord responsible for supplying electrical stimulation to the muscles. This stimulation is necessary for the movement of body parts. Jeremy’s disease makes it a struggle sometimes for him to walk, talk, and even breathe.
Jeremy is also the head coach of a high school football coach. Even with his disease, he led his team to a remarkable 10-0 season while dealing with the difficulty of walking, talking and breathing at points. In the book they talked a lot about how the football team loved Coach Williams and how his house was a gathering place for a team on a saturday after a game. Coach Williams meant the world to them and they meant the world to him.
No matter what happens to the Williams family, they never lose their faith in God. They resort to him in a time of need and always ask for his faith. There’s is times in this book where Jennifer Williams takes part in asking God for help or even asking God to give her signs in what she should do in certain aspects of her life. In his difficult time in dealing with ALS, Jeremy says he tries to become closer with God and asks him to help. Some of the moments that they ask for God in this book are truly amazing.
Reading the first half of this book has really made me appreciate what I have in life. I have God to thank for not only my own health, but also my family’s health. I am truly blessed. I have so much to much to be thankful for and I truly do appreciate it. The most amazing part is that the Williams family goes through way harder times in life and don’t have as much as I have in life and yet they are still as passionate and loving of God as I am. This book is a heartwarming story and I can’t wait to finish the rest of it.


  1. There are a couple convention errors, but nothing major. You do a good job of staying focused on the topic. It is well written, but there should be more of your thoughts about it and less summary. You should ask a question about what you think will happen next or about anything you don't understand.

  2. There is a lot of summary and not a lot of analysis of things like the author's writing style. Maybe put in specific questions that the book made you think of. When you define the diseases don't use as much terminology or just put in quotes. Good job of connecting the book to your life.