I was doing a book tour in Billings, Montana and I had an incident that changed my world!
I’ve written five children’s books which you can get My Books on Amazon or on their Hollywood Rats! website. At this stage in my life, I give away far more books than I try to sell. During that book reading at a children’s hospital in Billings, I read from one of my books and then signed free copies of any book each child wanted.
A mom came up to me and based on if I noticed the girl in the corner crying? She said it was her daughter Sara.
I looked and then said, “Why what’s wrong? Did she not get one of my books?”
Sara’s mom, said, yes she did, that is why she is crying!”
OUCH! That stings even reliving the moment 5 years later. I knew I would win any Pulitzer Prizes, but I didn’t think my children’s books were so bad they would bring little kids to tears.
Fortunately, the mom went on to explain that the reason Sara was crying was that she had cancer. Sara had written a national non-profit wish-granting organization saying her dying wish was to write a book about her stupid cancer. They responded by saying, well, Sara we can’t help you do that, but hey, we can send you to Disneyworld! Sara didn’t want to go to Florida. Shew wanted to wire a book.
Her mom then gently slapped me in the ribs and said, hey Mr. Brick, you’re an author, can you help Sara write a book about her stupid cancer? I’m. not sure about you, but I personally don’t know any good way to tell the mom of a dying 11-year old child that you can not help them. I didn’t know how I could help, but I told Sara and her Mom I would look into it. I left the hospital and went back to my hotel room.
I flopped down on the bed, took my hands, and began to pray, “God… how is this fair? Sara is a beautiful 11-year-old child who should have her whole life in front of her. I’m a retired 55-year-old person selling children’s books about a pack of Hollywood Rats. How can I help her?”
It was almost instantaneous that the thought came to me to search the internet for publishing a single book. In my publishing business, I use a commercial printer and print 5,000 books at once. Sara just wanted one book. I did my search and up came, Shutterfly. Although they were founded in 1999, I didn’t find out about them until that fateful day in 2015.
Shutterfly’s mission is to help share life’s joy as the leading retailer and manufacturing platform for personalized products and communications.
I called them and spoke with several people and confirmed that I could help my new little friend Sara make her one book.
The next day I went back to the hospital and told Sara and her mom that I had found a way to help Sara write her own book, and said, “Congratulations, Sara You will be a published author.” The tears were streaming down from all three of us! It was a happy day.
Sadly, as quick as I worked, Sara did not live long enough to see her completed published book. But, her family has it and are thrilled to know that their daughter, and many other terminally ill kids, as a result of her, will die as published authors and not as cancer victims. I now partner with Shutterfly to hopefully make many many more books.
I realized that day God had given me my skills to use my hands for many things of my desire and will… But the one thing he wants my hands to do more than anything is to help these innocent sick children leave their legacy behind by helping them publish their open book. I call these books, Obooktuaries.
I founded Operation Cheesy Medicine to help myself and other interested creative and artistic individuals help further this mission!
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