Susan Spencer-Wendel Dies

06/04/2014 at 11:45 AM EDT

Susan Spencer-Wendel Dies
Susan Spencer-Wendel
Jeffery Salter
The Florida writer who turned her mission to live joyfully while battling Lou Gehrig's disease into a best-selling book has died.

John Wendel says his wife, Susan Spencer-Wendel, died at their West Palm Beach home Wednesday morning. She was 47.

Spencer-Wendel was a reporter for The Palm Beach Post when she first noticed signs of changing health five years ago. After she was diagnosed with the progressive neurodegenerative disease, she began a final series of trips with those closest to her.

They became the basis for Until I Say Goodbye, the heartbreaking account of her decline that earned her a $2.3 million deal from Harper Collins and became a best-seller after its release last year.

Wendel says his wife managed to remain positive to the very end.



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