Joel Sonnenberg was only two years old when an 18-wheel truck crashed into his family's car. In the resulting inferno, he was burned over more than 85 percent of his body. This is his story told in the way that only he can tell it. Experience the world from Joel's point of view while he takes the reader through a personal journey that includes more trauma than any Hollywood film could suggest. His life is a story of great struggles and suffering. Prepare to fall in love with this young man named Joel.
The victim of a horrendous car accident, the now 26-year-old Joel Sonnenberg always wanted to be a musician, but without hands, or even lips, what could he possibly play? Sonnenberg eventually realized his instrument was his voice. On September 15, 1979, en route to Maine, the Sonnenbergs' family car was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. When a rescuer pulled the 22-month-old Sonnenberg from the wreckage, burns covered 85% of his smoldering body. With little hope, emergency workers transported Sonnenberg to the Shriners Burn Institute in Boston where he quickly lost his fingers, toes, lips, ears and nose. However tragic his story, Sonnenberg's recounting of his young life resounds in hope as he takes every opportunity to speak about how God has given him the courage to succeed. He is an enthusiastic storyteller, wanting to communicate not only his sorrows, but also his achievements, which are considerable. Sonnenberg credits his own optimism and his family's strong support with helping him earn his Eagle Scout award, serve as his high school's student body president, get elected Citizen of the Year for western South Carolina and carry the Olympic torch. A graduate of Taylor University, Sonnenberg continues to use his voice, and his experiences, to speak regularly across the country of his remarkable life and unshakable faith.
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August 31, 2006
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