Life in the Neck New Friends #3
Greetings from the Neck where I make my home. Remember a neck is that long narrow strip of land along a river. It is my driveway and the inspiration for my writing Life in the Neck New Friends.
We will both be in Los Angeles for the LA Times Festival of Books coming up April 13 – 14, 2019 on the USC Campus. Hope to meet you there.
Life in the Neck New Friends won the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award proudly making me an award winning author. I’m also a retired elementary teacher having taught for twenty-six years in Hastings, Minnesota. Ten of those years I taught children in third grade and for sixteen years my students were in first grade.
In 2004 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I’m proud to say I am a fifteen year cancer survivor thanks to my outstanding medical team and the support of my family and friends.
I combined these attributes and published my latest book Jeannie Ann’s Grandma Has Breast Cancer. Jeannie Ann can be found on my website at www.dianedavies.com, also Amazon and Barnes & Noble carry the title.
Jeannie Ann is a typical six-year-old. When she learns her grandma has breast cancer, it brings up the fears, questions, emotions, and misunderstandings that come with facing a medical challenge.
With her loving family by her side including Grandma, Jeannie Ann learns about what cancer can bring – tumors, mastectomies, chemotherapy, pain, and loss, but also hope. This story is written with honesty, love, and understanding for children of all ages.
Two Minnesota corporate sponsors, Ames Construction, Apple Valley and Vermillion State Bank, Hastings, along with a number of friends on Jeannie Ann’s Go Fund Me Page, have made it possible for me to gift the book to breast cancer centers in Minnesota. As of today, I’ve gifted nearly 1000 books with more gifts to be scheduled.
Jeannie Ann’s Grandma Has Breast Cancer by Davies and Nobens took me recently to Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in St. Paul, MN to attend the winter retreat of the Angel Foundation.
Angel Foundation is a Twin Cities-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to provide support to local adults with cancer and their families. For more than fifteen years, their programs have helped families facing cancer find more everyday moments of joy.
The JOY was evident today in the faces of the families attending as well as the organizers and volunteers. What an awesome way to spend a Saturday morning and part of the afternoon on a cold winter day in February!
The Winter Retreat is part of the Facing Cancer Together program which gives parents and caregivers the tools they need to parent through cancer. Kid-friendly activities provide education, emotional support and social experiences for the entire family.
My part today was to share Jeannie Ann’s Grandma Has Breast Cancer with the young children, preteens and teens. Kids at whatever age are a resilient group able to grow, adjust, and deal with the stuff life throws at them.
Today’s group of twenty some kids all shared the defining attribute that a loved one in their life was facing cancer. The love, understanding, respect, courage and strength that I experienced within this group was truly inspiring to me.
The lessons that I learned today were many;
- Children want to share and be heard.
- Children experience the emotions of a loved one’s journey just like adults do.
- Children have a need to be a part of the cancer journey with their loved one.
- Children learn to be responsive to the needs of their loved one.
- Children need and want to be a part of the journey even when their actions say otherwise.
Jeannie Ann’s Grandma Has Breast Cancer is helping to make the journey a little less painful for the children involved.