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Jacquie Lewis Kemp

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Member since: Mar 03, 2012

Jacqueline Lewis-Kemp, author of Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds, tells the story of her unlikely life highlighting three main themes--juvenile diabetes, a young, African American female CEO of an automotive manufacturing company, kidney failure and organ transplants-long term complications of diabetes.

Jacquie lived with juvenile diabetes and was insulin dependent for 33 years. She was diagnosed with the chronic disease at age 7. Her story chronicles the history of diabetes maintenance and what it was like growing up in the 1970s with diabetes.

Jacquie began her career at Lewis Metal Stamping the Monday following her graduation from the University of Michigan--since her new boss would be her father. After working with him for eight years, her father died suddenly and Jacquie stepped into very big shoes to fill, not to mention working through grief. In time, she grew the company and doubled sales.

Jacquie joined the National Association of Black Automotive Suppliers and was selected to join the Oakland University Business School's Board of Visitors. Jacquie was also awarded Black Enterprise magazine's "Rising Star" award in 1996. Kidney failure, transplants and concern about the worsening economy forced Jacquie to evaluate the viability of the business and whether to continue her father's legacy, or secure her son's future.

What she came to recognize was that her father was much more than brick and mortar, she closed the business. Or so she thought this was her decision. As Jacquie reviewed her life and the seemingly amazing medical procedures and the coincidence of how perfectly events were timed, she realized that it was not work that she could have ever done herself. Only God could have had this plan for her life and presented a path to ensure her success.

Through her book, Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds. Jacquie educates others how to incorporate the tedious regimen of chronic illness into a busy life rather than limit life because of chronic illness. The book is about faith, the balance of work, health and family as well as transplant and organ donation.

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I didn't expect it-the smell. The extreme smell of disinfectant and bleach, the quiet coming and going of staff and patients. The dialysis center.

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