My favorite part of a flight is takeoff. I love that amazing feel of the combination of max speed and the moment you feel the lift. And on that particular day and flight, I had another little treat, a window seat and no one next to me. I was leaving Rochester, MN, from a trip to the Mayo Clinic. I gently rested the left side of my forehead on the cool window. And as I felt the point of rising and looked out the window as what below me became smaller, I felt one warm tear leav
With the familiar voice and music, Jackie felt like she was sitting down to chat with an old friend when she joined North Dakota Prairie Public's Ashley Thornberg on Main Street. Ashley asked all the tough questions about AE, Unwillable, why the title, the writing process, and what's up with the Elton lyrics (have I ever mentioned just how much I love Elton ...)?! To listen to the podcast, find it where you subscribe or click HERE. #StebbinsStrong #JustKeepSwimming #BetterDay
What fun it was to hold a book signing in my hometown of Bowman! And how humbled I was to see this very nice story on the front page of the Bowman County Pioneer. Thanks for welcoming me back with open arms, my beloved Bowman forever family. Read it HERE! My dear new friend who feels just like an old friend, Amanda Godfread, wrote about Unwillable in her "Speaking Out" Opinion piece in the Bismarck Tribune: "'Unwillable' offers glimpse of rare illness." Amanda's beautiful and
UNWILLABLE sightings are popping up everywhere! I've seen UNWILLABLE out in the deep blue seas of Alaska, on a boat on the Missouri River in Bismarck, at the swimming pool, the kitchen counter in North Carolina, the tattered remains after a puppy got into it in Kansas, at the Bowman Museum (shout out to my hometown), in a coffee shop in Arizona, and more! The news about autoimmune encephalitis, its complicated and horrific onset, the terror that ensues, the heartache of recov
On June 8, 2022, Jackie joined host, Mike McFeely, of the McFeely Mess podcast for a discussion of all things AE: the onset, the terror, the recovery, and the process of writing Unwillable. And what an episode it was! Mike asked a lot of tough questions and Jackie tried hard to have the answers. You can listen HERE! #StebbinsStrong #JustKeepSwimming #BetterDaysAhead #UNWILLABLE
On June 1, 2022, Jackie joined her dear friends, Jeff and Amber, on Studio 701, at the local CBS station to celebrate the launch of Unwillable: A Journey to Reclaim my Brain. As always, there were lots of laughs, Jackie busted out some 90s dance moves in the green room, and Jeff was celebrating National Barefoot Day. You can check it out HERE! #StebbinsStrong #JustKeepSwimming #BetterDaysAhead #UNWILLABLE
May 26, 2022 Dear May 26, 2018-Jackie: Today is one of the worst days you’ve lived through in your life, but you’ll hardly remember it. You can’t read this today, because you’re mostly unconscious. But you’re going to live. And you’re going to see some familiar faces soon that will bring you happiness. You’re in indescribable pain now. You’re on morphine. People around you think you’re going to die or be rendered permanently disabled. They don’t think you’ll be you again. Peo
JM Stebbins friends, please give it up for Lacie J. Van Orman of Loupine Design. Not only is Lacie a super-duper talented graphic designer, ad and marketing lady, she has a Master's degree in Gerontology and works for Humanities North Dakota. She can now add Book Cover Designer to her long list of awesomeness. And on top of all that, she just happens to be a bestie who goes all the way back to me standing by her locker to talk to her in 7th grade. She's truly my forever frien
ICYMI: Jackie joined her friends on the local CBS morning show, Studio 701, for an update on her journey with autoimmune encephalitis and how she's celebrating World Encephalitis Day 2022. Watch her go #Red4WED in her nifty #StebbinsStrong #BrainWalk shirt! CLICK HERE to watch the segment!
Another Bismarck Brain Walk is in the books. We put out the call for 2022 #JMStebbins, #StebbinsStrong, #BrainWalkers, and boy did y'all show up! 132 people logged brain building miles in seven states across the United States! We had a Bismarck, North Dakota, pharmacy, middle school gym classes in Texas, a beach walker in Florida, a background of ice in Alaska, and a "Just Keep Swim[mer]" in Ohio. In 2020, we had the largest event in North American history. Last year, we had
For years now, I've promised an autoimmune encephalitis book to my JM Stebbins family. I am so proud to say that 982 days after I began penning my memoir, Calumet Editions acquired it for publication! CLICK HERE to watch the video announcement Thank you, friends! It's because of your love and support that I was able to take this massive step towards my book being placed in your hands. And thank you Calumet Editions for bringing my dream to life. An extra big thank you to my c
ICYMI: Jackie and her lovely husband, Sean, presented about the Brain Fever podcast at 1 Million Cups Bismarck/ Mandan, on February 2, 2022. If you couldn't make it, but are dying to hear Jackie's stories and bad jokes and Sean's wisdom about how to actually produce and publish a podcast, CLICK HERE. Or copy and paste the link: https://fb.watch/aXYfujvaez/ The Brain Fever podcast has been downloaded over 3,000 times on 6 Continents; in 33 Countries and 514 Cities around the g
Ever wonder where Jackie got those great high tops or haircut (no ... maybe ... probably not)? Or what about, Where does she get her #StebbinsStrong shirts? Wonder no more, because you can now order your very own, official #StebbinsStrong 2022 Bismarck Brain Walk #Red4WED shirt! Both adult and kiddo styles available.
Order asap to have your red shirt shipped just in time for World Encephalitis Day (Feb 22) and the 3rd annual Bismarck Brain Walk! This effort is brought to you
I found this NYT’s video opinion piece to be very thought provoking. I encourage you to watch it to think about what “quitting” means to you. https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000008027932/quitting-jobs-resignation-employment.html?smid=tw-share I’m a big fan of Simone Biles. And while I know as much about gymnastics as I do about hatchet throwing, I don’t think it’s possible to dispute she’s the GOAT. And her GOATness transcends athletics. She overcame sexual abuse by
I’ll never forget the day I met her, in the dorm hallway. Trish is a bit (a really super duper) of a closer talker (and I love her for it). I was just meeting her through my longtime bestie, Lacie, and she started violently flipping her hair at me like she was flirting with me, and laughing so hysterically I had no idea what the hell she was saying, until I realized that she was mocking me. And she was so close to me! (I’m not kidding, this was the first time I met her) Once
I will never do that. I’d be the only person in history to get one and then get Lyme disease, or worms. I’m sure I’d die from it. Me for many years, on getting a tattoo. They’re just not for me. No thanks. But then in circa 2016, I noticed one of the triathaloners at the Y had a little running stick figure on her shoulder blade. Small, plain, and so cool. I wanted it. But my body had long made me give up running, so it didn’t make sense on me. Cue the life-changing brain illn
I am really proud of this piece. Not only is it my first published piece in a national publication, I spoke from the heart about my autoimmune encephalitis story, and my own mental health story while a practicing trial lawyer. My story is not easy to tell (especially in 1200 or so words) because while I was led to believe I was having a mental breakdown, it actually wasn't that, it was AE. HOWEVER, the fact that a few of my closest friends and my family were so convinced of m
"If you knew that you would die today If you saw the face of God and love Would you change?" I’ve spent the better part of three years trying to go back to what was. When all seemed lost, I kept looking. I strained to hear that little voice inside that said, “Be patient, it will all come back.” I hoped for nothing else. Just to go right back to being me. So I squashed the other and louder voice that said, “This will ultimately change you.” Go back to being me. I know me. Stay
To keep or not to keep? To do or not to do? Stay right here in this place or go somewhere new? My life feels like a Jeopardy board. But I usually don’t answer myself in the form of a question. Maybe I should start that. “What is - my radio alarm clock?” It all began the day after my birthday, my freshman year of college. My alarm clock apparently stopped working, and I missed my 9:00 a.m. psych class (thank God I never missed another college class). A friend in the class late
I once heard Hunter Pinke say that he doesn’t ask, “Why me?” rather he asks, “Why not me?” (If you don’t know Hunter’s story, Google him, and I dare you to watch any one video interview of him without a Kleenex. He’s a superhero.). I too understand and accept that really bad and crummy things happen to good people. When someone asks me the nuanced question of “How did you get this,” I usually respond with, “Just my good luck, I guess.” There is no answer as to why with my AE.