An incident took place 10 years ago as I was struggling with the all too common enemy—breast cancer. I shared the story with friends, and they kept insisting I should write it. About a year later, I did and also took photographs of my grandchildren to be used as inspiration for illustrations. So much time has passed, but the story has now floated to the rim of my long-ignored bucket.
Nana and the “c” is told from the perspective of my seven-year-old granddaughter as she fearfully prepares to see her grandmother who has become bald as a side effect of chemotherapy. It is a humorous, upbeat story about hope, wonder, and family love—suitable for all ages, especially to anyone with a loved one going through cancer treatment or who is a patient or survivor themselves.
My dear friend, Wenhai Ma, responded with a quick “yes” to do the illustrations. I requested that a literary friend, Michael Colonnese, read the story just to give me feedback. He could not resist editing while he read, thus making a serious improvement to the text. Then Jo Michaels, a book and cover designer who has worked with me in the past, offered her help in support of the project.
I refer to it as a “project” because it is just that. I always knew the book was not something I wanted to “cash-in” on. It was always meant to be a gift. When I told each of the professionals mentioned above that the book was to be donated to cancer center waiting rooms, they generously offered their time and talents without charge.
So, it is done. It has been published and is available on Amazon. Two hundred copies are ready to begin distribution to cancer centers in North Carolina. The profits from any Amazon sales will be used to print more books to be donated. It doesn’t have to be limited to our state.
My hope is that people will share this to their own Facebook page and purchase copies and donate them to a cancer center or library near them, in whichever state they reside.
Doris Schneider is an artist, scene designer, writer, and educator. She taught at William Carey University and was a tenured professor of theatre at North Carolina Central University. She published two novels: Borrowed Things and By Way of Water. After her own bout with breast cancer, she wrote this story based on a real event with her granddaughters. While the illustrator, Wenhai Ma, was teaching at Duke University, the two became long term friends—culminating in their collaboration on Nana and the “c”.
We each have an excellent opportunity to pass this healing and heartfelt message along to others who are struggling through similar situations. And hopefully it will be the balm they need to keep going.
Our bookstore is running a special for Nana and the “c.” We’re offering two books for $10. One for yourself and the other we ask that you donate to a cancer center, a survivor or someone going through this now.
Please click on the link below to purchase “Nana and the “c.”: https://www.pamlicowritersgroup.org/