Author & Speaker
Custom Home Consultant
Joy Scouter

Author & Speaker
Custom Home Consultant
Joy Scouter

Hi, I'm Jennifer. Here's a little more about me—I’ve had four kidney transplants. That's a lot, I know.

But I never start with this (my husband says I bury the lead) because I’m a person, not a patient. And I'm much more than the worst thing that has happened to me. Aren’t we all?

At twenty-two, ready to launch, I suddenly wrestled with kidney failure and longed for the return of "normal." But the word “incurable” stole the life I’d planned. My forthcoming memoir (Incurable Optimist: Living with Illness and Chronic Hope) reveals the story of how sometimes, it's the sorrows that threaten to pull us apart that ultimately unite us in hope.

Through my writing, mentoring, and advocacy, I explore how individuals manage uncertainty, move forward with hope, and find joy.

My work is featured in: Brevity Blog, The Sunlight Press, Star Tribune, Grown & Flown, Mamalode, The Erma Bombeck Blog, The Kindness Blog, and Minnesota Physician. I'm the upcoming local board chair for the National Kidney Foundation and serve as a mentor (Joy Scouter) to support people with serious challenges. Plus, I still dabble as a custom home consultant. Working with people on new homes creates a place for stories to unfold.

Words on paper create a home for unfolding stories as well. I just love that. Because we all have stories and I believe they matter.


Freelance writer specializing in stories of hope.



I help people with serious challenges and illness carry on with uncertainty. My coping/hoping journey pairs with research-backed positive psychology tools and I offer easy-access downloadable guides to share.



Incurable Optimist:
Living with Illness and Chronic Hope

August 15, 2023. Learn more below!

Incurable Optimist
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Uncertainty is a sure thing. That's why we must accept the unacceptable and embrace what it means to be human. I hope this story becomes a companion to all who toggle between life's good and bad. And a reminder to savor simple joys.

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At twenty-two, I felt full of promise. After a sudden diagnosis, I found myself soaking a hospital pillow with tears as I unwillingly crossed over from wellness to illness. My survival hinged upon doctors, kind strangers, and devoted loved ones. But what kind of life would that be?

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Chronic Hope

Spanning 2-1/2 decades, this family love story explores loss, acceptance, and surviving with hope. Shining a bright light on people helping people in difficult times, this story will inspire you to live fully, and hug the humans you love.

Questions + Answers

“There are always flowers for those who choose to see them.”

-Henri Matisse-

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"I  believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed."

- Mary Oliver -

If you fancy keen quotes like I do, follow my @joyscouter account on Instagram!