I first heard of Laura Bowman and Margie LaSalle through a mutual friend. Their story moved me so much I want to get the word out and am doing my part.
Here's the article from Savvy, to enter the drawing, please leave a comment with a valid email address on the SAVVY SITE (not here). You will probably have to sign in to leave a comment.
Laura Bowman, today's guest author, is a local artist, mother and friend. She has written her first children's book, Always and Everywhere, for her friend Margie LaSalle, who is suffering from Breast Cancer, and Margie's children.
This is my first children's book. I am a professional artist living and working in the Atlanta area and normally paint contemporary landscapes and figures. Writing and illustrating a children's book was completely foreign to me and a complete learning experience.
The inspiration for 'Always and Everywhere ' came from a desire to help raise money for my dear friend, Margie LaSalle and her family. Margie is the wife of Chris and mother of five year old John Mark and seven year old Claire. Margie was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2007. A few months after mastectomy surgery, Doctors informed Margie the cancer had metastasized. Statistically, the Stage IV diagnosis includes a life expectancy of two to four years. Margie's world is upside down right now. She is in continual pain from the cancer in her pelvis which makes it hard to navigate the stairs in their 2 bedroom condo.
I felt so helpless when it came to Margie's cancer. With two young children of my own, I couldn't contribute my time or money, but I could produce this children's book for her in my spare time. Initially, the book provided an opportunity to help the LaSalle's with expenses (for her continuing medical bills and for expenses involved with moving into a more manageable house). However, writing the book was a cathartic experience. I was able to collaborate on the book with Margie and our mutual friends, which makes the message so much more meaningful. I also painted quite a few of the illustrations at her house while Margie and friends watched my young children. This special time with Margie was unforgettable. I learned so much about courage, the importance of friends and family and the will-to-live.
Margie does not believe her fate is dependent on generalities or statistics. While Margie undergoes chemotherapy and radiation, she and Chris work to keep life normal and consistent for their children. The well-being of John Mark and Claire is their most significant concern and challenge. Margie also reassures her children; when she leaves the physical world - two years from now or fifty years from now - she will still be with them, always and everywhere.
"Always and Everywhere" is a light-hearted children's book featuring Margie and her two children, John Mark and Claire. It reminds us that even when mom isn't by our side, the lessons that she taught will always be there. At the end of the book the children ask mom about angels. Mom reassures Claire and John Mark that if they believe in angels, then they will always be by their side.
A wise friend of mine said that what we are doing is comparable to how dolphins behave. "When one is sick or injured another one joins them until they recover or die..they are never left alone to face trials of this nature. Very wise, Godly creatures are dolphins!" Writing and illustrating "Always and Everywhere" was such a powerful experience for me. I will definitely illustrate another children's book in the near future.
We are having a book launch event on November 20 where the book will be available for purchase and the original illustrations will be auctioned.
Thursday, November 20
5 - 9 PM
Mason Murer Projects
325 E. Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30305
Live music, Book signing and silent auction of the original artwork from the book.
All proceeds go to the Margie LaSalle Cancer Fund
Win it: I have a signed book available. If you would like to win a copy of this book, please leave your name and a valid email address in the comments section on Being Savvy Atlanta. I will pick a winner at random on December 1st. If you have a blog please feel free to post about the contest. If you don't have a blog, be sure tell all your friends and neighbors about this book and this worthy cause!
ETA: Apparently the Savvy Site is having problems with comments. If you leave a comment there with an email, use "at" instead of @ -- if that still does not work, then leave a comment below and I will add you in.
Only one entry per person please!