In 2010, Palm Harbor Homes had the opportunity to work with Nationwide Homes to provide a home for 38-year-old Jeremy Williams who had been diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), his wife Jennifer, his daughter Josie, and his son Jacob, who has been confined to a wheelchair with spina bifida. The now-cancelled ABC television show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition had chosen to provide a home for the Williams family as part of their heartwarming series and invited us to participate as the home builder.
Designing and building a spacious, beautiful modular home that would provide freedom for both Jeremy and Jacob and room for their medical needs was an awesome responsibility and a privilege. But more than that, working with Jeremy and his family was simply inspiring as we watched his unfaltering faith and perseverance in the face of this crippling disease.
Since the show, Jeremy has been forced to resign his position as head football coach for the Greenville Patriots due to his health. Jennifer has fought a valiant battle against breast cancer. Jacob has undergone several serious surgeries to address complications with his situation. At the same time, Jeremy has been featured in a wonderful documentary, Season of a Lifetime. Also, he and Jennifer have written a book together titled Tenacious, telling how his terminal illness was used to turn a football team into champions.
Breathing, speaking and moving on his own are three of the many things that ALS has stolen from Jeremy, but it has NOT been able to control his attitude or take his ability to inspire. Even though he cannot speak on his own, he continues to speak to small groups and churches about how blessed he and his family are and inspire others to persevere against their own obstacles. He has now lived more than twice as long as the doctors predicted. Although he no longer prays for a miracle for himself, he believes in miracles and prays that one day soon there will be a cure for ALS so that others do not suffer.
Today, as the #icebucketchallenge video craze is sweeping the country raising money and awareness for this horrible disease, it was an honor and a privilege for Palm Harbor Homes to participate in the challenge and donate to fight the fight against ALS.
If you can donate $5, $10, $20 or more to find a cure for this killer, please go to www.runforJeremy.com to learn more about this local chapter of ALS and the work it is doing for those in that area. We challenge you! Do it for Jeremy. Click here to learn more about Jeremy Williams.