"If you have struggled through something, and survived, you should then help those who are still struggling.” ~ Brendon Burchard.
The background ~ In 2008 my only child was diagnosed with High-Risk Stage 4 Neuroblastoma.
The dreaded C word. Cancer.
"You make cancer more fun then anyone I've ever met!" Yup that's what the radiation tech at a major children’s hospital told me after CAT scanning my 3 year old daughter for the umtenith time.
Over the last few years everyone who has heard our story has said "You need to write a book!" encouraging me to help other parents who have medically ill children. When my daughter Emily was diagnosed with cancer the only book I found in the hospital library was Lance Armstrong's. I read it cover to cover in the first couple of weeks - looking for HOPE.
My book is the printed story of my decision to fight my daughter's cancer with Fun. It worked. Six rounds of chemo, a bone marrow transplant, radiation, and months of experimental treatments she is a happy teen cancer survivor.
Over the years people watched us fight cancer with fun. They followed our Facebook group, “Fighting Jersey Style,” a friend made for us (I was a Jersey girl living in Colorado with my cancer kid).
They watched me, a single mom, find everything I could to be grateful about (even if it was just grateful the day was over and tomorrow was a new day).
The response was overwhelming - 6,000 views on stories I would share on a little blog a friend put up for me. 1,000 people sharing her facebook page with weekly posts and updates. And this was in 2008 before social media really hit hard.
Now I have an opportunity to share what I did with other families and medical professionals. To share our ups, downs, laughter and tears. To give parents hope (yes there is life after cancer) and tools (how to make medical fun!) and to remind everyone (yes non cancer moms and dads) to be grateful every day and hug your kids a little tighter tonight.
Why is this book important? There’s nothing like it out there. Really. I went to a major national book store chain. I looked. I googled. I came up empty.
I asked a friend who works at the local children’s hospital what she thought about sharing my ideas in a book. I said “Who would even want to read that?”
She looked at me and said, “When your daughter was diagnosed if someone told you there was a book on how to make her cancer fun would you have read it?”
“Of course!” I said.
“Well there you go,” she responded.
To be clear, I never wanted to write a book. I wanted my child to live. She did. Now it's my turn to give back to families with medically ill children. Creating this book and sharing these tools has been a “God” pull on my heart these last 3 years. I strongly feel this has become a calling on my life and while I wouldn’t choose my child’s cancer as a calling if I can help one family I feel obligated to do so.
Thank you for supporting my mission to inspire others to live in gratitude and to support other parents in regaining control in an un-controlable situation ~ harnessing the power of gratitude and laughter.