This is a sponsored post with Books That Heal to share these stories and partner to raise awareness for this organization and these amazing families. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.
I will never forget graduating from nursing school, passing my boards, and interviewing at all the major NYC hospitals for my first nursing job. With a lot of options to choose from, I carefully decided to accept a position on the pediatric floor at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
As it turns out, my father had just begun treatment at the same time and I’d work a 12-hour shift on the 9th floor as a new nurse, and then go 2 floors up to the 11th floor to be with him. It was too much, too soon. My dad underwent an autologous stem-cell transplant and I decided to leave MSKCC after orientation so I could take another nursing position and focus more on being with him during his lymphoma battle.
My reason for sharing this? I wasn’t on the pediatric floor for a long time, but I met kids and their families who I will never forget. I try not to focus on the pain, confusion, fear, and uncertainty that overwhelmed me as a new nurse. Instead, I remember the kids. I remember the firetruck sitting beside the 8-year-old boy in bed who didn’t have a lot of time left. I remember his name, his face, his family members, the food they would offer me, and his smile.
After everything he had been through, he was still a kid who could still enjoy my fire truck sounds. His story deserves to be told. Like so many other kids and their families who go through the fight of their lives, they are heroes who have incredible stories to share. Books That Heal is a 501(c)(3) organization that does just that. Books That Heal helps pediatric patients write and illustrate their very own children’s books to become published authors and illustrators.
As a collaboration with the child who is undergoing treatment and their family, this organization takes a child’s written work and illustrations, hosts book signing events to celebrate each child’s story, and helps raise funds for the family or their foundation. Founded by Michael Flatley, Books That Heal sells the books for $25.00 each on their website booksthatheal.org and on Amazon.com with transparency on how the royalties are spent.
50% of royalties are given directly to the child and their family or the family foundation set up on behalf of the child.
25% of royalties go to the hospital or organization that refers the child to Books That Heal.
25-50% of royalties goes to Books That Heal for associated costs of creating and publishing the books.
Recently when I sat down to show my kids these books, they were immediately drawn to these personal stories full of illustrations done by children their age. I explained how these books were created and why – and then asked them to each choose one to read.
“Emma is brave and you are brave, too. You have your family’s and friends’ love to help you through” as my daughter read in Emma the Brave, written and illustrated by Emma Marques. She chose the book of a “Warrior Princess” and got to go to the American Girl Store in NYC and eat grilled cheese just like Emma. I imagine my daughter and Emma would have been friends.
Hurrikanen Fights Back by Kanen Keating-Wear, Kinsey Keating-Wear, and Michael Wear grabbed both my son and daughter’s attention. My kids love the beach, too! They enjoyed reading about this total beach dude and total fighter.
All of these books deserve to be shared and discussed and I often tell my kids that role models come in all different shapes, sizes, and ages. I’m thankful to these kids and their families for offering their stories and allowing us to learn from them. Thank you to Books That Heal for introducing us to these books full of heroes!
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