Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blessings Amidst the Storm

When Sammy was in the hospital last summer an artist from South Bend, Indiana, heard about him and sent him some posters he illustrated with Sam as a comic book hero. Eric Winter created and sent Sam some posters, pictures and t-shirts of Superman Sam & Mega Turtle Battling Cancer. 

Now, honestly, there were so many incredible images, photos and gifts sent to Sam during the months that simply filled our hearts with love and gratitude. We loved them all, and they meant the world to us in our attempt to brighten a bleak time in our lives. 

It so happened, however, that I had an idea for a book I wanted to create. Phyllis provided me with Eric's twitter information (@EricWinter) and I tweeted how much I loved his work and talent. I also told him how much Sam loved the posters and t-shirts. I then asked if he would ever be interested in illustrating a children's book. Long story short...we decided to work together to create a blessing out of Sam's struggle. 

A few weeks ago, after five months of working together and communicating via email, Eric and I have completed our first book together. Timing being everything, I am proud to announce that iTunes just approved our first book for sale in the iBooks store today, Alef is for Alien. This is a beginner book for kids of all ages who wish to learn the Hebrew alphabet in a fun, digital and dynamic way. 

So my eternal gratitude goes out to Eric and his family for all their love and support of Sammy, a boy they've never met, but took into their lives as one of their own. Eric's incredible talent stuns me every time he sends me new proofs. 

From Sammy's illness to Eric's reaching out to our family, all of this illustrates how small the world truly is if we choose to reach out and make a difference in someone else's life. Everyone who follows Sammy's blog or took the time to send in a card, a picture or a little something reminded us that we were never alone. Something good should always come out of something bad. Whether we get more involved in a cause, donate time or money or just send well wishes, how we react to challenging times changes not just our lives, but the lives of the people who are touched by our generosity. 

My hope is to someday see sales of our book reach above 100,000 so that I can fully begin to repay Eric for all his time and effort and all the love with which he showered my Sammy.

Eric and I hope to develop a second book soon, specifically to raise funds for the MACC Fund and all their work to cure childhood cancer. 

So here's to family, friendship, partnerships and working together to change the world. 

I wish Sammy never had to deal with what no 7 year-old child should have to deal with in their lives. Truly I wish no child or family ever had to suffer in this way. But out of all this much good as occurred, and for that I am eternally grateful. 

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