Press Release



A Sister’s Passion Project Inspires People to Find Purpose
After Life-Altering Adversity 

“I Am Not My Body, A Tribute to Jim MacLaren” reflects on the short but remarkable life of the 2005 Arthur Ashe Courage Award recipient who had it all, lost it all, and found new meaning.

November 20, 2018, Ephrata, PA—Imagine having extraordinary intellect, athleticism, and talent in combination with the unwavering confidence that all of your dreams would come true. 

Then envision what it would be like to have all of that decimated with the force of a 40,000-ton city bus. 

That's precisely what happened to academic, athlete, and actor Jim MacLaren.

Through telling her brother’s story, Jennifer Hippensteel, author of “I Am Not My Body, A Tribute to Jim MacLaren” is helping others find inspiration when all seems lost. The book reflects on the unfathomable highs and lows of MacLaren’s incredible existence—from his days at Yale School of his triumphs as an amputee triathlete after being hit by a New York City bus and losing part of his his reinvention as a motivational speaker after a second tragic accident rendered him a quadriplegic. The book encourages others to “get back into life” no matter how catastrophic the circumstances they have faced. 

“I read this book in one sitting. It was a moving, inspirational tribute to Jim MacLaren, a man who faced traumatic accidents in his life and reinvented himself and never gave up. It was a warm, poignant read from his family and friends who loved him dearly. The stories that were told help shaped the big picture of who Jim was and how he lived his life. May his spirit continue to shine!” ~ Review by Suzanne Bridge 

After losing her big brother and best friend in 2010, Jennifer Hippensteel was compelled to write this book to keep her brother's spirit alive, help her continue to heal from his loss, and to inspire others to find their new "normal." She has been writing since she was 10 years old and believes that when people write from their hearts, there will always be someone out there who can relate and perhaps not feel so alone in their struggles. Hippensteel is the mother to four exceptional spirits, Kiowa, Noah, Sage, and Maya, and she resides in Lancaster County, PA. Professionally, she is a business consultant. holistic health practitioner, and Reiki master.


Through publishing this book, she also wants to bring awareness of and support for the Challenged Athletes Foundation ( Years ago, MacLaren’s friends created the organization to purchase a wheelchair accessible van for him. The nonprofit continues to help challenged athletes around the world.

For more information about “I Am Not My Body, A Tribute to Jim MacLaren” and author Jennifer Hippensteel, visit