Jeannie Gaffigan’s world came crashing down in 2017.
The writing partner and wife of bestselling author/comedian Jim Gaffigan, and mother of their five kids — daughters Marre and Katie and sons Jack, Michael, and Patrick — was diagnosed with a life-threatening, pear-sized brain tumor and underwent a nine-hour operation to successfully remove it.
Now Jeannie, 49, is writing about the experience in a new book, When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Faith, Family and Funny People, which will be released this fall. “We have been the beneficiaries of so much love and support by everyone through this medical crisis,” she tells PEOPLE exclusively. “I hope that sharing our story can bring hope and laughter to anyone facing the unimaginable.”
The book entails her diagnosis, the “brutal conversation” with their children and loved ones, her recovery process during which she was bedridden and had to use a feeding tube for more than a month and her own reflection of her life — all written with humor and heart.
“I can’t believe how perfectly Jeannie captures the fear, grace and humor of this terrifying part of our life,” Jim, 52, tells PEOPLE. “Then again I can’t believe she married me.”
The husband and wife duo, who wed in 2003, created TV Land’s critically acclaimed The Jim Gaffigan Show, which was loosely based on their life. Jeannie also co-wrote seven comedy specials with her husband, the last four of which received Grammy nominations. She collaborated with Jim on the two New York Times Bestsellers, Dad is Fat and Food a Love Story, and co-founded The Imagine Society, a non-profit that connects youth-led service groups.
When Life Gives You Pears: The Healing Power of Faith, Family and Funny People will be released in October.