A book filled with heart.
I lost my mom to uterine cancer in 2013. It was one of the most deeply sad and worst feelings of being unable to help, that I have ever endured. And after she was gone I felt this enormous hole in my heart and a need to help, but I had no idea how. I'm not a doctor or nurse or scientist or even a counselor. I'm just an artist and a writer, what good could I do? I watched my friends fight breast cancer, uterine cancer, cervical cancer, thyroid cancer and brain cancer. They all had little ones at home and none of them knew how to talk to their children about what was happening and why they didn't have the energy to pick them up any more or play.
Finally in January of 2016 I realized there was something I could do to help. I asked my friends all kinds of questions about how they felt, what they wished they knew at the beginning of their diagnosis, what they want their children to know, and I set to work. I wrote and illustrated a 48 page children's book to do just that . . . help parents communicate about what it means for mom to have cancer. I added activity ideas, ways to ask for help, and emotion conversation starters. All kinds of tools to help children understand what is happening and to help moms feel part of the family when they are so very desperately tired. I showed the book to my friends and they loved it, so I showed it to my publisher and she cried with me. I am honored to say that Mama's Knight: A Cancer Story of Love publishes October 2016 and will get into the hands of moms everywhere that need it!
I put the project up on Kickstarter to encourage people to donate books to families in need! We have all been touched by cancer and helping others is one of the best ways to heal. This project has certainly brought peace to my heart after losing my mom. For $20 you can preorder or donate a book to a family, or for $45 you can donate a book and get a cute dragon mug for yourself! There are so many ways to give. Kickstarter even picked Mama's Knight as a "Project We Love"! Join the love-fest and donate by July 26th, 2016 at 4pm!
It has been such an emotional journey to get to this point, I've cried, I've bawled, I've screamed, I've missed my own mom . . . I have prayed. I have asked for help. I have need, and given hugs. It is such a beautifully vulnerable project that comes straight from my heart to the hearts of mamas everywhere. I'm thankful my skills have a place to help heal in this world and my voice can reach even the smallest ears.
Mama's Knight has been overwhelmingly loved by the professional community!
"A cancer diagnosis affects the entire family, and discussing it with young children can be difficult in so many ways. Mama's Knight is a delightful, interactive story that will help parents approach this difficult journey in a way that protects their child's emotional health and strengthens their bond along the way." — David Quale, MD, pediatrician
"As a counselor, I so appreciate the communication tools Mama's Knight provides families. To be able to communicate with one another about the complicated emotions that go along with cancer will be a blessing to so many. I also loved the superhero helper cards, as they will build an amazing and needed spirit of support within the family." — Michelle Craveiro, MA, LMFT, family therapy
And love from mamas who are cancer butt-kickers!
"Being a mom can be hard. Being a mom when you have cancer can be more than hard. It can be difficult and scary. I was just adjusting to having two children when my diagnosis threw us all into a tailspin. It was a challenge to find support for mom's with cancer nearby and I wasn't always sure how to speak to my children about the topic. This book, with its cute drawings and easy-to-understand story, helps break down any barriers to explaining cancer to a child. There are so many things cancer does to a person’s body, to their family, and having a resource for ideas to wade through the mess called cancer is a blessing." — Tyson Cluever, mama fighting brain cancer
"The day I found out I had cancer, I was terrified. I knew my outlook was the best anyone could hope for in this situation and I knew I was in very good hands, but there was one thing I didn’t know: How to tell my children. My boys were three and four years old when I was diagnosed. To them, Mommy was a superhero. Suddenly I was sick and I couldn’t do the things we used to do. It was so hard to say I needed to rest on my bad days when all they wanted to do was play and it was even harder to explain why in ways that they could understand. Aurora Whittet managed the impossible in Mama’s Knight, allowing us to have those tough discussions with our young children in a way that not only wasn’t scary, but could make it fun too. This book is a blessing and I hope it finds its way to all the mamas bravely fighting for their knights." — Laurie Wetzel, mama fighting thyroid cancer
"Mama's Knight brought tears to my eyes and made my two little boys feel like brave heroes!" — Amber Langford-Brown, mama fighting multiple myeloma
So please join us and donate a book to a family in need today! We need you! When we all team up together we can change the world, one book at a time. I believe in the power of love.