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My mother was born a deaf-mute and after her mom died at age 31 during childbirth, she was abandoned. At age 21 she was raped and I was born from that rape and abandoned. I grew up in foster care and graduated from high school at age 17.

I worked my way through college. At Louisiana State University, I briefly worked as a page in the State Capitol and later I graduated at Northwestern University with a degree in accounting in 1961. I obtained my Certified public Accountant certificate.

My first wife and grandson were killed and I attempted suicide. In 1970, I entered Real Estate and my first year I made the Million Dollar Sales Club. In 1974, I opened the first of six real estate offices. In 1974, I met my current wife and we were married in 1975 and have been married 38 years. Together we have five children and fourteen grandchildren.

In June 2004, I was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, an incurable lung disease and given six months to two years to live. I was cured in Germany in 2008.

In June, 2008, I wrote my first book titled "Does God Give Us More Than We Can Bear?", Zig Ziglar wrote my foreword. It became an Amazon Best Seller in July, 2011

In 2010, I started telling my story in order to offer others hope. I started public speaking, and doing radio and television shows. I was written up in the Dallas Morning News and several magazines. In 2012, I was a guest on the TV show "Celebration" on Daystar TV. Last month I taped three television shows to air on ION TV Media Network. I recently signed an agreement for a movie to be produced about my life based on my book. I hope the movie can be used to fund a Pulmonary Fibrosis Society Foundation to encourage funding and research for a cure.

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Today’s Brilliance from Jerry Smith

My life is a story about overcoming rape, tragedy, abandonment, rejection, murder and then at age 64 given a "death sentence," after being diagnosed with an incurable lung disease and given six months to live. Today I am the happiest that I have ever been in my life. So how did I find happiness? I learned that you can choose to have happiness by making up your mind to be happy, instead of choosing to dwell on the past. The difference between being positive instead of being negative is critical in changing attitudes, and attitude is a major factor affecting…

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