Jeff Lester

Overcoming Adversity


Jeff Lester is a trailblazer. Most people diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, are thought to be near the end of his or her life’s journey. For Jeff, it was only the beginning. He recalled a lesson his father taught him: Don’t let the challenges in your life limit you. “I made it my purpose to disprove every assumption about someone with Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” he says.

Jeff’s determination and tenacity has more than outweighed any limitation he’s had as a result of his disability. Since 1993 when he was diagnosed at the age of 26, Jeff has married and had three daughters, helped start a family printing business, written articles to assist people with ALS, and helped grow the online ALS community.

The College of Business’ online MBA program helped Jeff reclaim his educational dream of attending gradauate school, where he made the Dean’s List every semester, earned university scholarships and was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, international honor society serving business programs, in April 2010.

“I was told at one time or another that I could not and would not achieve any of these things including successfully completing one semester at UM-Dearborn or even living past the age of 30,” says Jeff. “I will complete two master’s degrees with honors.”