The Stirring, True-life Story of How One Friendship—Born of Chance—Changed Everything

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The Awakening of HK Derryberry inspires readers to see opportunities to touch someone’s life. The story, featured on NBC Nightly News, is now available in paperback.

'HK is a blessing to everyone who has ever crossed his path and when you meet him or hear what he has to say, your spirits will be lifted indelibly.' – Scott Hamilton, US Olympic Gold Medalist

It’s a story of an unlikely friendship – a blind boy with cerebral palsy and a busy executive who “happened” into a fast-food restaurant and met for the first time. Jim’s story of generosity and HK’s spirit of always looking at the positive has touched thousands through speaking events, regional and national news stories, social media and, in their book and award-winning audio book first released in September 2016, The Awakening of HK Derryberry is available in paperback wherever books are sold, on September 5 (W Publishing Group, ISBN: 9780785216209).

HK Derryberry came into the world with the odds stacked heavily against him. Born three months prematurely when his mother was killed in a car wreck, HK spent nearly 100 days in the hospital hovering between life and death. During this time, he was diagnosed with multiple severe disabilities, and his future was dim.

When he was nine, a chance encounter with Jim Bradford, a successful businessman in his mid-fifties, changed the course of HK’s life. The two became fast friends, with Jim opening doors to new experiences for HK, including piloting a plane, driving a boat, and showcasing an astonishing ability in the form of a rare memory medical diagnosis: Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM), which involves superlative powers of recollection that enable him to remember everything that has happened to him since the age of three.

Readers have commented that this book will lift your spirits and awaken you to the need to see those that are often overlooked in our world. As HK says, “The only disability any of us have in life is a negative attitude.”

About the Authors
Jim Bradford
Prior to retirement in 2015, Jim Bradford enjoyed a successful sales and marketing career in the apparel/textile industry. For the past eighteen years Jim has been best friend and mentor to HK Derryberry, the subject of his book The Awakening of HK Derryberry. Today, HK and Jim share their inspiring message “Anything In Life Is Possible” with audiences nationwide. The story of their unlikely friendship was featured nationally in USA Today in 2016 and an “Inspiring America” segment of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt in 2017. Jim and his wife, Brenda, reside in Brentwood, Tennessee. They have two grown daughters and two grandchildren.

Andy Hardin
Andy Hardin has known Jim Bradford over twenty-five years through church and was part of his Saturday morning tennis group when Jim first met HK. Jim introduced Andy to HK early in their friendship, and he closely followed their adventures throughout the years. After reading Jim’s treasured tales of HK’s many anecdotes, Andy offered his help to further develop the story. Andy is a retired attorney living in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Connie.

About Thomas Nelson: Thomas Nelson is a world leading publisher and provider of Christian content and has been providing readers with quality inspirational product for more than 200 years. As part of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, Inc., the publishing group provides multiple formats of award-winning Bibles, books, gift books, cookbooks, curriculum and digital content, with distribution of its products in more than 100 countries. Thomas Nelson is headquartered in Nashville, TN. For additional information visit

Authors are available for interviews with print and broadcast outlets. Please contact Kimberly Golladay at Kimberly.Golladay(at) or 615-902-2217 to schedule author interviews.

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Kimberly Golladay
Thomas Nelson
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