During August, 2011, Ernie, Ellyn, Gregg, and Catharine Found are hit by heartbreak and tragedy. Seventeen-year old Caroline Found, aka Line, doesn’t survive a moped accident. Twelve days later Ellyn Found loses her battle with cancer. They aren’t the only ones mourning. Caroline was a much beloved student at her high school and the captain of a volleyball team set to win its second state title. Missing both their team leader and the encouragement of their “team mom,” Ellyn Found, they can barely survive practice. Thoughts of another state championship feel entirely impossible. Is it possible for good to emerge from bad? This is a deep look into a raw, heartbreaking story of loss. From losing Caroline and Ellyn, to an unforgettable state tournament, Live Like Line explores the full powers of community, family, team, love, faith, friendship, and life. All of us have, or someday will, deal with grief, it is never easy. For many it can seem insurmountable, but as well-known author Jim Harrison once wrote, “It only gradually occurred to me that our wounds are far less unique than our cures.” This quote captures precisely what author Bill Hoeft comes to believe and discover. He reaches out to the Found family to research, study, explore, interview, and discovers a whole community.
Parts of this book were featured on an episode of HBOs Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel and an article with ESPN.
What others are saying about Live Like Line, Love Like Ellyn: “It is difficult to comprehend how heartbreaking the story of the Found family is—a loving mother, Ellyn, diagnosed with a terminal cancer, a beautiful teen-age daughter, Caroline, killed in a freakish moped accident—both buried within a fortnight. That the father, Ernie, somehow managed to courageously rise above this devastating calamity, to carry on with grace, and that the town and Caroline’s school and volleyball team came together to cherish the memory of the two women, is the story of unbounded love. That there is a victory in sports, as well, is but a glorious bonus. Nothing can cure the sadness, nothing can undo the horror, but what Bill Hoeft’s book tells us is that even the worst tragedy can uplift us if we care enough and are unafraid to bare our hearts.” —Frank Deford, Senior Contributing Writer Sports Illustrated, NPR commentator, correspondent on HBOs Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, & best-selling author“A powerful, heartbreaking, triumphant story, told with honesty and conviction. A stirring testament to the strength and courage of a Family, to the enduring bonds of Community, and to the eternal, transcendent, healing power of Love.” —Dan Knight, Steinway Artist, Pianist, Composer
“Not all have the good fortune to know a Caroline—a rare and great spirit who instinctively knows how to feed the pulse and soul of everyone she encounters. Bill Hoeft shares this rare story of grit through grief which transforms a family, a team, and a town to embrace a new legacy, to LIVE LIKE LINE.” —Geoffrey Lauer, Executive Director, Brain Injury Alliance of Iowa
“Bill Hoeft not only captures the depths of the tragedies, but also the elation of the highs in both Caroline and Ellyn’s life stories. Live Like Line provides a truly inspirational account of the Found family that proves touching for readers of all ages.” —Ally Disterhoft, University of Iowa Women’s Basketball, Iowa City West High alum (’13)
“A wonderful tribute to a beautiful family and their own extraordinary love. The ability to share and receive the love of family and community in the wake of such heartbreak is remarkable. We are all lucky to share a special community made richer by the Found family.” —Margaret & Fran McCaffery, Head Coach, University of Iowa Men’s Basketball
“A heart-felt and moving account of a difficult passage full of courage, compassion, and inspiration. The affirming message of healing and hope reminds us all that we should Live like Line and Love like Ellyn.”—Lisa Brinkmeyer, Assistant Director, Iowa Girls’ High School Athletic Union
This is Bill Hoeft’s first book. He is serving his second term as a Coralville City Council member.
A portion of the sales from this book will be donated to the Found Family Memorial Foundation.