Thursday, February 12, 2009

Local author writes about son

Local author writes about son’s
success despite hearing loss
Photo by Donna Agusti
Jordan Levin, 32, poses with his parents, Mollene and Marty,
in West Bloomfield. Jordan has overcome hearing loss to become a
personal fitness trainer and motivational speaker.

By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Although birth complications left Jordan Levin profoundly deaf, his life story will have no problems making itself heard.

Levin’s family is preparing to launch his father’s self-published book, “We Were Relentless: A Family’s Journey to Overcome Disability,” in West Bloomfield Feb. 15.

Jordan’s father, Marty Levin, felt the urge to document his son’s story of perseverance and accomplishment in the wake of hearing loss, and started writing the book about five years ago. Both father and son are thrilled to put their memories on paper.

“They told us that (Jordan) would never be able to speak, and we didn’t take that as an answer,” Marty said.

Jordan, 32, of Keego Harbor was born three months premature, and doctors warned that he could die or suffer motor skill problems. While neither situation happened, he did lose his hearing.

However, Jordan learned to read lips and — through extensive training — to speak. He went on to graduate college and become a motivational speaker and personal fitness trainer.

According to his father, the book depicts Jordan as an open, confident boy who was largely unaware that he was different from other people until he was 8. That was when the closed-captioned subtitles on TV told him they were for the hearing impaired.

At times, the process of writing “We Were Relentless” was very emotional, Marty explained.

“It’s hard to tell things about our family,” he said. “My wife said she was actually surprised ... because I was that open with my feelings. I really exposed myself.”

Marty said “We Were Relentless” would appeal to people who want to experience an inspiring, feel-good story in a time when everything else seems to be so bad. Parents of young children could also find the story attractive, he added.

“Everyone has their concerns about how their kids are going to be,” he said. “Their children could do anything if someone like Jordan could.”

Jordan’s mother, Mollene, said her favorite part of the book is the epilogue, which Jordan wrote. She added that her son learned a lot from the book because it describes the private burdens his parents faced in making sure that he had the best care possible.

“A lot of it has never been shared with anyone,” she said.

Jordan hopes the new book will open doors for his motivational speaking career, in which he teaches people how to be relentless in pursuit of their dreams. “What I’m looking forward to most is being able to share the passion that I have for life and being able to share that with others,” he said.

“We Were Relentless” is available for sale online at the book’s official Web site, and it is expected to be sold on the, Barnes & Noble and Borders Web sites next month. “We’re looking for a distributor to put it in bookstores,” Marty said.

The “We Were Relentless” book launch will occur at 4 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Janice Charach Gallery at the Jewish Community Center, 6600 W. Maple Road. To RSVP, call (248) 851-9757. For more information about the book, go to

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