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  • By Shannon Yarbrough
    Oct 15, 2009
    "EXTRA HANDS" Since beginning this review blog, I’ve probably read more nonfiction than I’ve ever read in my life. The success of authors telling their stories about overcoming obstacles in their everyday lives has been astonishing, such as Shirley Cheng who used Lulu to share her words, enthusiasm, and spirit. Writers like her constantly reiterate why I started this blog in the first place. Jack Orchard is another such author who tops the list. He is a writer, a hero even, who deserves to be read. His book, Extra Hands, will change you. It is a story of overcoming adversity like none other. Like many, Jack’s life was the all American dream. He was a teenage football player who did well in school. Jack graduated from Harvard and moved to Moscow to start a successful financial business. While in Moscow, he met the love of his life and got married, ready to start a new journey in life. But that all American dream soon took a different path which was totally unexpected. In... More > his early 30s, Jack was diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) which is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS causes extreme muscle cramps and weakness. It leads to total loss of muscle control, and eventually the loss of speech, the ability to walk, and to breathe. It is a death sentence of which there is currently no cure. Jack wasn’t ready to give up though. He’d worked too hard in life to throw his hands up in the air and call it quits. Since ALS patients are in need of constant care, Jack decided to start a volunteer organization to help other ALS victims. The name of his organization is Extra Hands for ALS. Extra Hands prides itself on turning young volunteers into leaders who are capable of facing challenges in their own lives and communities thanks to their charitable work. Jack hopes these volunteers will help raise awareness which will ultimately lead to a cure. Jack cannot speak or use his hands, and yet his positive attitude comes across in his words so strongly. There are life lessons here for everyone. As a writer, I cannot imagine not having control of my own hands in order to bring my story to life on the page in front of me. How did Jack do it, you ask? With the aid of amazing technology, a special camera, using an Eyegaze Communication System, tracks the movement of Jack’s eyes as he spells words on a keyboard control panel shown on his monitor. He can type about 35 words a minute. Not only can he write with this technology, but he can operate his computer, respond to emails, and synthesize a recorded voice in order to communicate out loud. Jack’s biggest regret? Not being able to put his arms around those he cares about. “When my time comes I would like to be surrounded one way or another by the people who have meant so much to me who have shaped my life”, he writes at the end of his book. “There is so much left to do. So for now–back to work.” Jack’s book proves that we can each make a difference. I encourage you to buy a copy of his book today, if for no other reason than to support his wonderful charity. A proceed from each book sold helps support Extra Hands for ALS. Go to their website to learn more and to watch a video about Jack. Read the full review at www.lulubookreview.wordpress.com!< Less
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Product Details

ISBN
9780615164069
Edition
Third
Publisher
Jack Orchard
Published
December 28, 2007
Language
English
Pages
192
Binding
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
Weight
0.76 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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