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A regular dad. A rare brain disease. A chance to live forever with Jay Armstrong

Today on the Dads with Daughters Podcast I spoke with Jay Armstrong, a father of three who is fighting a rare, degenerative brain disease while working to be the best dad he can be. We talk about fatherhood, living with this disease, but also about the legacy that he is working to leave for his kids.

As a part of this legacy, we talk about the new book he just released this month, Bedtime Stories for the Living

About the Book

If you live with a rare life-altering disease, you spend a lot of time in your head. It’s hard to put the thoughts into words.
In Bedtime Stories for the Living, Jay Armstrong accurately articulates the thoughts of any person living with a rare disease or anyone simply struggling to overcome their challenges.”

Kyle Bryant, spokesperson for the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance and host of the Two Disabled Dudes podcast.

A regular dad. A rare brain disease. A chance to live forever.

A cell phone’s ring interrupts the silence as Jay Armstrong sits in his high school classroom preparing for the year ahead. Something about the ring makes his stomach drop. It’s his doctor.

The words, “diffuse cerebellar atrophy, a rare, degenerative brain disease” float through the speaker. All of Jay’s youthful dreams of being a writer rush back, flooding the twenty years he has spent teaching students how to appreciate novels, memoirs, and poetry. The care he put into teaching them how to write with clarity, insight, and humor, and how to dance at the prom. The bedtime stories he never told his children spin in his imagination. It will all die when he dies.

Bedtime Stories for the Living is an episodic memoir in which Jay shows his children how to accept their limitations and find joy. The collection of tender, witty stories about fatherhood, persevering despite illness, and pursuing your dreams, demonstrates how love gives us the strength to face heartache with bravery, humor, and grace.

If you’ve enjoyed today’s episode of the Dads With Daughters podcast we invite you to check out the Fatherhood Insider. The Fatherhood Insider is the essential resource for any dad that wants to be the best dad that he can be. We know that no child comes with an instruction manual and most are figuring it out as they go along. The Fatherhood Insider is full of valuable resources and information that will up your game on fatherhood. Through our extensive course library, an interactive forum, step-by-step roadmaps, and more you will engage and learn with experts but more importantly with dads like you. So check it out today!

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Christopher Lewis


Christopher is the co-founder of Fathering Together and the Chief Information Officer. He is the father of 2 daughters that are now in their tweens and teens. He started Dad of Divas, a blog to share his own personal experiences in being a father in 2007 and in 2018 started the Dads With Daughters Facebook Group to allow dads to connect, learn and grow together. He works in Digital Media on a daily basis, but also has over 20 years of experience in higher education administration.

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