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One Book, One ND Event featuring author Jackie M. Stebbins

FREE EVENT. Jackie M. Stebbins pleaded to be committed to a psychiatric ward, and then her world went black. She awoke a month later to learn that she had a rare and debilitating brain illness that stole her career as a young trial lawyer and nearly ended her life.

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Time & Location








FREE ONLINE EVENT with Author Jackie M. Stebbins

October 23rd, 4-5pm CDT

Author Jackie M. Stebbins

Jackie M. Stebbins was living her dream as a nationally recognized trial lawyer and senior partner at the Stebbins Mulloy law firm, when she was diagnosed with autoimmune encephalitis (AE) (a rare brain illness wherein the person’s immune system mistakenly attacks her brain). Her journey includes a horror story illness, near-death experience, miraculous recovery, retirement from the law at age thirty-five, and a miracle baby. She later founded JM Stebbins, LLC, to follow a new dream as a writer and motivational speaker. Her memoir, Unwillable: A Journey to Reclaim My Brain, was published in May, 2022. Jackie lives in Bismarck, North Dakota, with her husband, Sean, and their three children. In her free time, she enjoys camping, reading, current events, trying to be funny, and aqua jogging.

Unwillable: A Journey to Reclaim My Brain

When Jackie M. Stebbins had reached the pinnacle of success as a young trial lawyer, she desperately tried to hide her anxiety and depression. But her shaking hands, endless insomnia, and white noise in her ears told her it was true: she had burned herself out. After she pleaded to be committed to a psychiatric ward, her world went black. She awoke a month later to learn that she had a rare and debilitating brain illness that stole her career and nearly ended her life. The twists and turns of her journey to a diagnosis, recovery, and new life takes readers on an emotional and psychedelic rollercoaster ride. You will feel her terror and devastation and be moved by her will and hope. Unwillable makes you laugh, cry, and cheer for Jackie in this fast-paced story of a woman whose persistence burdened her, but also equipped her to survive.

Moderator Stephanie Macdonald, NP

Stephanie Macdonald was born and raised in North Dakota. She has double undergraduate majors in business management and nursing. She furthered her education in nursing and now works as a nurse practitioner. Before opening her private practice in early 2020, she was a provider on the psychiatry team at a health system in Bismarck. During her time on that team, she was awarded the Nurse Practitioner Rookie of the Year and selected as the nurse practitioner mentor for her department. She was elected and served as a Member-At-Large for the North Dakota Nurse Practitioner Association. During her nurse practitioner career, she has provided behavioral health services to patients in the clinic, hospital, and long-term care settings. Since opening Transitions Healthcare, she has grown her team of providers providing behavioral health services to people in central North Dakota. It brings her joy to help those in need. Stephanie is a wife and mother to four wonderful children.

One Book, One ND events are sponsored by the Paris Family Foundation and Prairie Public 

HND Value Statement

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this {article, book, exhibition, film, program, database, report, Web resource}, do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or Humanities North Dakota.

However, in an increasingly polarized world, we at Humanities North Dakota believe that being open-minded is necessary to thinking critically and rationally.

Therefore, our programs and classes reflect our own open-mindedness in the inquiry, seeking, and acquiring of scholars to speak at our events and teach classes for our Public University.

To that end, we encourage our participants to join us in stepping outside our comfort zones and considering other perspectives and ideas by being open-minded while attending HND events featuring scholars who hold a variety of opinions, some being opposite of our own held beliefs.

Humanities North Dakota classes and events are funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities

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