Vivian writes about the tragedies and triumphs of her life in her new book Standing Tall. Vivian says she couldn't have made it through any of life's twists and turns—including raising a disabled child and working at the same time—alone. "Truly with God's help, with the help of my family and friends, I've been able to find refuge on a basketball court," she says.
Vivian also relied on the love of God, her family and friends after her husband's sudden death. The night before Thanksgiving, Bill collapsed shortly after returning home from the grocery store.
Ironically, 20 years earlier on Thanksgiving Day, Vivian lost her father to a heart attack—both men passed away at age 47. "My husband was my rock, you know, the reason that we could go on is because we had each other," Vivian says. "When this happened, I didn't think that I could lift my head again or speak. I found myself talking very quietly because I couldn't find myself. He was the voice inside of me that allowed me to live my dreams."