Full color version with pictures listed at http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/p/my-name-is-jenni-age-43-married-to-rick.html. Text Only Format, Posted Oct 2015:
- My name is Jennifer (Camp) Saake, Jenni, born 1972 (age 43 at time of this posting), married to Rick since 1992, co-founder of Hannah's Prayer Ministries (Christian support for families facing infertility of the death of a baby at any time from conception through infancy), mother of 3 living children (and at least three more waiting for us in Heaven after a decade of infertility including 7 adoption losses and 3 known miscarriages). I am the author of one published book,Hannah's Hope: Seeking God's Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage and Adoption Loss, and have several more manuscripts in the works to seek future publication.
- I have spoken to local women's groups at Reno Christian Fellowship, Hope Community Church and Coram Deo (now Mountainside Community Church) and some out-of-state speaking in California and Washington and Texas (I've been invited to Kansas and Colorado as well, but had to decline these invitations), done multiple radio interviews including a Focus on the Family Weekend spot and have done a few television interviews such Family Life of Canada on their Marriage Uncensored show, mostly all on the topic of infertility and loss.
- Nearly four years ago, in October 2011 (my kids were 5, 8 and 11 and were home schooled), I went to a chiropractor for neck manipulation due to headache. His adjustment ruptured an artery in my neck and I experienced 2 massive brain bleeds (strokes) right there on the table and was not expected to even make it to the hospital alive. I was unresponsive for 6 hours, during which I had a vivid near death experience, and in ICU for nearly a week, followed by a week in the main neuro unit at Renown, transferred to the rehab hospital, a return to Renown main due to additional strokes and two needed emergency surgeries on Thanksgiving morning, another week of total hospital bed rest, then back to rehab, coming home just before Christmas.
- A lot has changed in our lives these past 4 years. Our kids lived with grandparents for 8 months, the new chickens we had just adopted lived in "foster care" for many months, our marriage nearly crumbled due to the severe mental/emotional processing deficits as I slowly re-learned how to manage, we had to enroll our kids in traditional classrooms when they came back home. I had to re-learn how to breathe on my own, swallow, talk clearly, was not able to walk at all for nearly a year, I am still without a driver's license. We had to change home churches (we have been at South Reno Baptist Church since Feb. 2014) due to neurological needs as far as sound volume (music too loud causes physical pain and makes me throw up, so early service here is just my speed now) and vision issues (those big screens here are SUCH a blessing). I still use a cane or walker outside my own home. Much eyesight is resolved, I have hearing in one ear and have reclaimed large motor function of my most significantly impacted arm.
- I am still slow in mental processing (my last book took me about 10 months to write. I have been working on my current one for about 3 1/2 years now with no end in sight yet), so brain injury is still significant. As of early Oct. 2015, I have done no public speaking (other than video) since my strokes, but feel my communication skills have improved enough to let you know I'm available if you need me for either a small group or luncheon or whatever. I cannot drive, so need to work out transportation issues if/when/where you ever need me. (Specifics about speaking questions, everything I can think of that might might ask or need to know, is specifically listed below.)
A listing of, and links to, several of my other blogs is found at http://strokeofgrace.blogspot.com/2013/07/books-blog-social-media.html.
To get a feel for my abilities, here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KJJbEKlsug - I was at just over the 3 year mark and you may see several more videos throughout the recovery journey at InfertilityMom on YouTube. http://bestmedicinenews.org/perspectives/six-time-stroke-survivor-blogs-way-better-health/ was a video interview (1 1/2 hours of filming, condensed to 3 minutes of air time, so anything about God was edited out of the final cut) from December, 2014 and can also be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThMsl7q4K88.
At this time I do not charge a set speaking fee, though welcome your love offering to help provide for family needs and expenses that come about when I'm called away to speak. I also appreciate the opportunity to set up a book table and sell books at your event. My preference is local, Reno, Nevada area, speaking. I cannot drive, so need to work out transportation issues if/when/where you ever need me. I am severely allergic to latex and cannot even be in the same room with traditional bubber balloons. Strong chemical cents (perfume, potpouri, cleaning chemicals) and loud music (drums, electric guitars) are also problematic for me.
For out-of-area speaking, I do need transportation, food (I don't eat any wheat) and lodging (you do not need to pay for a hotel if there is a handicapped accessible - meaning no stairs or significant step up to get up into or function with the home, shower seat or shower railing, something sturdy near toilet that is steady to pull up on, non-smoking home available to host me!) provided for both myself and a travel-companion / care-giver as I still am not ready to travel unaccompanied and do not have resources to take on these kinds of travel expenses.
I wish I did not have to ask for all the accomodations, but that's my reality, so I want to be direct about all my "baggage" right from the start so you know what you are getting into. :)