By TONY ADAME The Wichita Eagle Published Saturday, July 19, 2014, at 6:08 p.m. Updated Saturday, July 19, 2014, at 7:31 p.m.
There was a time, not too long ago, when the idea of writing a 20-page paper for one of his classes at Newman University just about seemed like the worst thing in the world to Jeremy Gant.
“I would finish the 20 pages and it was quite an accomplishment,” Gant said, laughing. “Funny how things change, I suppose.”
Gant’s latest endeavor is a far cry from the college sophomore who shied away from term papers and lived to hit the golf course for the Jets — he’s written a book chronicling his heart transplant surgery entitled “Win The Fight.”
And it’s 133 pages.
“I was just laying in bed, around the time of the surgery, and just had the idea to start writing things down and collecting them for myself because I had all these amazing things that were happening to me,” Gant said. “I wanted to share my story and hopefully help inspire others or help others through what I’ve gone through.”
The former Newman golfer got his heart transplant on October 11, 2010, and the book, published by Christian publishing company Xulon Press, begins in the days leading up to when Gant found out he was going to need to have his heart replaced as a sophomore for the Jets.
Gant, 23, graduated from Newman with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and is on track to graduate with an MBA in finance from Newman in December. He lives in Wichita and works for Koch Industries as an accounting co-op/analyst.
“After the transplant, I had all these awesome things happen,” Gant said. “Tom Watson came to the hospital to visit me. I got to play golf with Rickie Fowler. I got to know the Oklahoma State men’s golf team and their coach really well. The idea for the book started to really come into shape, the overview of how it would be, and I went from there.”
Before he needed a publisher, however, he needed an editor. He found one in family friend Shanna Guiot, who also happens to be the publisher of Chanute’s newspaper, the Chanute Tribune.
“It was fairly evident in the beginning that Jeremy is an accountant and not a writer,” Guiot joked. “But this is such a good story … I understood the catharsis that comes with getting to that final page. It felt pretty good once we were able to submit the final project.”
The book is available through most major online retailers and through its website — www.win-the-fight.com — where readers can sample the first 17 pages. It’s being sold for $25.99 hardback, $14.99 paperback and $7.99 for the digital version.
Gant has checkups every six months for his heart — all have shown him to be in perfect health. He doesn’t golf as much as he used to, but was set to play Auburn Hills on Saturday.
“What’s been interesting to me since the book came out has been hearing from people that were with me the whole time and told me there were things in there they had no idea that were going on with me, and hearing from people I’ve never even met who said it inspired them or meant something to them,” Gant said. “I think once you start reading it, you won’t be able to put it down. The reaction I’ve gotten so far has been amazing.”