The Center for Disease Control predicts that 1/3 of all Americans will be  diagnosed diabetic by the year 2050. Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds is written to encourage diabetics to LIVE life responsibly with diabetes and organ transplant rather than LIMIT life because of them.  The road paved to success is filled with pot holes that derail us and cause us to lose focus on the things that are most important.  This is particularly true for diabetics and others who face chronic illness on their way to achieving their goals.

In her book, Jacquie Lewis-Kemp demonstrates ways to manage diabetes as a part of her normal routine rather than limit life because of diabetes related requirements.  Jacquie describes these techniques as an elementary school aged sleepover guest, a high school cheerleader, a college student, a working mother as well as a busy executive.  The book further demonstrates how her outlook on diabetes management was key as she took on the rigors of kidney failure and organ transplant living.

Copies of Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds can be purchased at Borders, Barnes & Noble,, Zoe Life Publishers, Hope United Methodist Church bookstore and  Jacquie is available for interviews and speaking engagements and can be reached at:


Jacquie Lewis-Kemp

Segunda Vida, LLC

PO Box 392

Bloomfield Hills, MI 48303;

(248) 320-7851

Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds

ISBN: 978-1-934363-63-8

PAGES: 197

Publisher: Zoe Life Publishing

Date: 2009

Price: $16.95

Distributors: Baker and Taylor, Ingram, STL



Media Exposure

  • Interviewed by The Dayton Weekly News.

  •  Interviewed by The Michigan Chronicle

  • Interviewed by Urban Housecall Magazine

  • Interviewed by Solo Woman Magazine

·Special guest on Passion for Life, Blog Talk Radio show, “Living with Diabetes”.

 ·Interviewed by Muskegon, MI radio WUVS The Beat

Keynote speaker for  Diabetes Seminar for the Muskegon Community Health Project.

·Featured in the Transplant Newsletter at the University of Michigan

·Guest Blog on the Diva Tool Box


oNational Kidney Foundation of Michigan

oAmerican Diabetes Association

oGift of Life

oMt. Clemens Regional Medical Center Diabetes Support Group

Mercy Place Clinic

Scott United Methodist Church

 Oakland Church of Christ




“Jacquie is truly an inspiration. A great read and with lots of help for those dealing with chronic illness. Once you start reading you won’t be able to put it down.”

Maurie Ferriter,

Director of Programs & Services,

National Kidney Foundation of Michigan

“Blessed Assurance – a pilgrimage of struggle and processes that led to the proclamation that life is a gift  as Jacquie Lewis-Kemp ponders the promise and power of the ‘Gift of Life’.

Remonia Chapman

Program Director, Gift of Life MOTE

“I endorse [this book] and readily commend it to both professional and lay audiences.  It is, at once, inspiring and instructive–infusing ample doses of love and humor.”

Rev. Dr. Percy L. Moore,

Retired Professor, Wayne State University

“What an amazing testimony.  Her story will inspire others to remain strong and keep faith amid life’s many whirlwind encounters.”

Rev. Dr. Carlyle Fielding Stewart, III

Senior Pastor, Hope United Methodist Church

“Even after much research scientists still do know exactly what causes juvenile diabetes but they do believe it could be a compromised autoimmune system, genetic, or environmental factors that are involved. Author Jacquie Lewis-Kemp was diagnosed with this disease at the age of seven in 1969.

Jacquie, in her book “Blessed Assurance” chronicles her journey from that first night in the hospital to all the trials and tribulations that followed for 33 years until her pancreas transplant in 2000. She went through the whole gamut: insulin, blood sugar monitoring, emotional ups and downs,  retinopathy, kidney failure, dialysis, kidney transplant, and just about everything else imaginable that comes with chronic onset of diabetes.

But, despite all the challenges Jacquie never lost  her faith in God. In the Epilogue Jacquie explains “In my private devotion with God, I  reflected on my two transplants and how only through God’s grace could all of this miraculous healing be possible.”  She is a firm believer that she is a witness to “God’s power and might.”  This is a heartwarming story of a beautiful woman. I can guarantee you will be touched in a way that you’ve never been before.”

Irene Watson Review



 Jacqueline Lewis-Kemp, author of Blessed Assurance: Success Despite the Odds,  tells the story of her unlikely life highlighting three main themes—living with diabetes, running a company and raising a family successfully while diabetic and Gods grace, healing ability and faithfulness through adversity. Jacquie lived with Type 1 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 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 college—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.  She joined the National Association of Black Automotive Suppliers and was selected to join 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.  Jacquie now volunteers and speaks for Gift of Life, the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan, is chair of the “Choose to Live” program at the American Diabetes Association and does fundraising for the University of Michigan Transplant Center.

Jacquie is also one of the 42 authors of Victorious Living for Women.  This inspirational book is a collection of stories told by women from across the country about living victoriously.  Jacquie’s chapter is entitled, “We Can’t Always Predict How God Will Bless Us”.


In January, 2000, after making it through the computer scare of the new millennium at work, my nephrologist explained that I would need to start dialysis.  These words fell hard on my ears. BLESSED ASSURANCE: SUCCESS DESPITE THE ODDS All I could think when he said that was that this was the end.  From the time I was diagnosed with diabetes and learned about the long term complications of diabetes, I decided that kidney failure was the complication I would most want to avoid.  I figured I could live and be blind or without a limb, but I couldn’t live without kidney function.

Peritoneal dialysis is done with a surgically inserted catherater and uses the peritoneum (the sack that holds your organs together) as a filter to clean the blood.  Two liters of dialysis fluid remains in the peritoneum until the next exchange scheduled every other hour.  The patient then connects the drainage bag to the catherater and empties the old fluid, and fills the abdomen with new fluid.  The fluid surrounds veins and capillaries in the abdomen pulling out waste deposited into the bloodstream.  It also removes excess fluid from the body that the kidneys no longer remove.  The new fluid is added to the abdomen using an IV pole and gravity.  The whole process takes a little less than an hour and repeats every other hour, unless a machine called a cycler is used during the night.  The way a cycler works is in the evening the patient connects him or herself to the cycler machine using hoses and a drainage tube that reaches and empties into to the toilet, and one that connects to ten liters of fresh fluid warming on top of the cycler.  The reason that it is called a cycler is because one cycle consists of one drain and fill cycle.  Ideally, the overnight dialysis consists of moving ten liters of fluid through the body.  The fluid is held in the abdomen in order to pull the impurities out of the bloodstream, ideally for an hour. The number of cycles that are actually completed depends on the time set for completion on the cycler.  Therefore if I was late getting connected or had an early morning meeting and had to disconnect early, then I missed a few cycles and wasn’t able to make full use of the cycler.  The ideal setting was to maximize the hold-time at two hours and complete five cycles, moving ten liters of fluid during the night.  The total connection time was approximately 8 hours.   Given my busy schedule both at work and at home, my nephrologist gave me the choice, but strongly recommended peritoneal dialysis.

I anticipated needing to be up getting my son ready for school, and that meant I had to disconnect from the cycler by 6:30 am.  Therefore I needed to get connected not later than 9 pm.  I made sure the tubing was long enough to get to the bathroom and later to the computer since 9 pm was after my son’s homework was generally completed.

At home, I got to be a real pro at dialysis and monitoring my health.  Each night before bed, my husband would lug 10 liters of dialysis fluid from a storage room on the main level, upstairs to our bedroom so that I could connect to my dialysis cycler.  While my husband complained about most chores, he never complained about carrying 10 liters of fluid to our bedroom each night in order to sustain my life.  My diabetes regimen was now an even more complicated set of processes.  Each day after disconnecting from the dialysis cycler, I would test my blood sugar, blood pressure, weigh myself (to check for excessive fluid weight gain or loss)record all the results for the doctor to review at my visits; take my insulin and eat according to the rules of not only diabetes but of dialysis.  My body couldn’t clear phosphorus from my system, so I had to take a pill before any type of meal. This agent would bind to phosphorus in my system so that it could be excreted in my stool.  I also had to watch the amount of potassium I ate.  Potatoes were cut from my diet unless I soaked them overnight, drained the water, and rinsed them again before cooking them.  Citrus fruit was out as well as tomatoes or foods made with tomato sauce, because of the high potassium in them. Watching my blood pressure and blood sugar was key to remaining healthy while on dialysis.  My dialysis nurse explained that I should use different strengths of fluid depending on how much water I needed to take off my body.

Once I had the dialysis procedure memorized I could then start to fit this extra monitoring more smoothly into my daily schedule.  I had to hold each type of fluid in my monthly inventory of fluid at work as well as at home. I didn’t let kidney failure run my life.  I incorporated dialysis into my daily routine.

Once I had a meeting at 1pm and a busy day scheduled.  I worked right up until 12:15 and had a ½ hour drive to make.  I had postponed dialysis in the past and felt sluggish, so I decided not to try it again.  I packed up my dialysis supplies into a spare briefcase and took them to my car. I slipped the mask on in the parking lot and carefully and cleanly connected. I put the drainage bag on the passenger side floor and the new bag on my dash to heat up in the sun while I drove to the meeting and drained the old dialysis fluid out.  When I finished draining, I switched the dam on the bags so that the new fluid could enter.  Although the dash was above my heart, gravity would allow the fluid to fill my peritoneal cavity, but pinching the bag in the sunroof of my car worked even better..  At a red light, I again washed my hands with the antibacterial wipe and put the mask back over my face and disconnected from the bags.  I taped and secured my hose and clamped the old fluid and put it back into the bag and into the trunk of my car.  I attended the meeting as planned and felt good during and after it.

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