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PEWAUKEE, WI, December 09, 2008 /24-7PressRelease/ -- When Thomas Hapka suffered a near-fatal chiropractic injury that left him with a stroke and severe brain damage, he didn't know what life had in store for him. He had to have his family empty his Milwaukee apartment and move him back into his parents' home. He was left with vertigo and other neurological symptoms that made life challenging - and sometimes downright overwhelming. He had to leave his technology-based contract career, which had just started taking off at the time of his injury.
Turned down by both the legal system and Social Security, Tom had little to live on. With the help of his parents, he managed to meet his basic needs. With the help of an elderly former English professor turned close personal friend, Tom wrote his first book about all-natural treatments for the feline immunodeficiency virus or FIV. Once he knew that he was capable of writing books, he began looking for other opportunities.
When Brett Favre announced his retirement in March 2008, inspiration hit. "Letters to Brett Favre" said a voice in Tom's head as he was preparing breakfast one morning. Brett had always been an inspiration for this author, because of his love of the game and the rebirth he gave Tom's beloved Green Bay Packers. But since his injury, Tom was getting another kind of inspiration. The three-time MVP who always picked himself up off the turf and got back in the game -- the QB who had the longest durability record in the NFL - had a lot of motivation to give to this young man trying to pull himself back from a debilitating injury.
So Tom began combing the internet and posting for letters, while he outlined chapter ideas and began writing essays about what Brett Favre meant to him, the Packers organization, and the game of football as a whole. He contacted fan groups to see if their members would like to contribute letters. One of those contacts would change his life. On a summer day, Tom contacted Erick Rolfson, one of the leaders of the Bring Back Brett Favre campaign in Green Bay. By this time, Brett had announced that he wanted to return to football and the Green Bay Packers had given their most famous player a lukewarm reception at best. Erick and his brother Adam put their lives on hold for the summer of 2008 to plan rallies, petitions, and public presentations to let Packer management know that fans wanted "their" quarterback back.
So when Tom asked if Erick and Adam would be willing to provide a letter for the book, he got that and much more. Of course, both Favre fans were thrilled to be included in the project. But they offered to be business partners -- using their database to help gather letters from Favre fanatics, as well as helping promote the book, which included much needed financing. More than a partnership of convenience, this has turned out to be a pairing of fate.
"I couldn't have put this book together without Erick and Adam. I simply didn't have the contacts, the business know-how, and certainly, not the funding," explained Tom. And as for Erick Rolfson, he echoes Tom's sentiments. "Tom has been an inspiration to both my brother and me. To understand the problems he's had, where some days he was so dizzy that it was hard to even sit still, let alone focus at the computer and write the great tributes that he has to Brett, has been really inspiring to see. This man definitely embodies Brett's never-quit drive to succeed."
It seemed completely fitting that the three men who came together to work on this book would choose to honor and assist Special Olympics through its sale. Brett Favre, a special education major in college, has always held a special place in his heart for this charity and has been very generous with both his time and his donations. Through Brett Favre's dedication to this charity, many special athletes have been able to experience the thrill of competition. "Our donation to Special Olympics is a great way to honor Brett, these athletes -- and really Tom, too, and anyone else who hasn't let themselves be held back by their disabilities," said Adam Rolfson. "This a great feel-good story and anyone who purchases this book can be pleased with the great organization they are helping."
Thomas Hapka - 800-350-5041 or 920-285-8055
Erick Rolfson - 800-350-5041 or 414-736-4852
"Letters to Brett Favre: A Fan Tribute" is available for sale at www.letterstobrettfavre.com for $14.95 plus shipping. Part of the proceeds of each book go to the Special Olympics chapters that most touch Brett's heart - Wisconsin, Mississippi (where Brett grew up) and New York (where he is now the leader of the New York Jets). For interview request please email us at email@example.com or call 800-350-5041.
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