A Friend Like Kate…

When we met Kate and her family, we instantly knew how much a book about Kate and Rett syndrome would make a difference for so many. Jim and Jen Magato, Kate’s parents, explain it best:

“We are so excited for people to read this book all about Kate and Rett syndrome! When we heard about the wonderful work Sarah and Bob are doing with the Smile Books Project, we knew Kate’s story had to be told. Yes, Kate has Rett syndrome. Kate is different from you and me. She is different from many of the other people who have Rett syndrome. She is unique. Aren’t we all unique?

Click Here to Purchase A Friend Like Kate

Sofia’s Smile…

Aicardi Goutières Syndrome.

This is not just a diagnosis. Right now, it is a life sentence. With very little knowledge, research or funding for Aicardi Goutières Syndrome, or AGS, the terminal outcome for those diagnosed will not improve. Imagine learning that your child or sibling has a rare and terminal disease. Now, imagine 14 years of watching your child or sibling suffer before getting this diagnosis. Years of worrying that each decision made to help may have been the wrong one. That was the case for Sofia DeOliveira and her family.

Best For Me…

The word “home” typically means a place where one lives permanently. However, with the opioid crisis and many other variables, just because it is “home” doesn’t mean it is safe. Or permanent. On any given day in the United States, over 443,000 children are in foster care, according to childrensrights.org. They may stay with one foster family or move from home to home. Young children being placed into the foster care system are afraid, unsure and confused, according to social workers at Cincinnati Children’s. We created Best For Me as a tool to help these children understand more about foster care and answer questions they may have along the way. If you would like to purchase and donate these books, please contact us at sarah.curryrathel@smilebooksproject.org.

Thank you!

 

Love and Sunshine, Kelli…

Love and sunshine. This is more than a phrase, it’s a signature. In fact, it’s Kelli’s signature and she is very well known for it. These words came up almost every time I received a note about Kelli from her family and friends. After hearing this so many times, I knew that Kelli’s book had to share her signature with anyone reading it. This book is a love story and a reminder that, in times of darkness, let sunshine win.

My Cancer Life . . .

After being diagnosed with a form of leukemia, Matthew wanted to write a book to help kids with cancer. He started a journal but didn’t have the energy to finish. We wanted to help Matthew accomplish this goal, even if he didn’t have the energy to write it himself. My Cancer Life mixes actual excerpts from the book Matthew began writing with the story he shared during our interview with him. We hope that the tips and advice in this book help make the journey for others either going through cancer or who know someone going through cancer a little easier to navigate. Thank you for supporting Matthew and Smile Books Project!

Camp Kesem_web The Magic of Camp Kesem . . .

Camp Kesem is an organization with a story worth sharing.” Kesem is a nationwide community, driven by passionate college student leaders, that supports children through and beyond their parent’s cancer. By offering innovative, fun-filled programs that foster a lasting community, we aim to ensure that every child impacted by a parent’s cancer is never alone.” I reached out to the University of Cincinnati’s Camp Kesem chapter and just a few months later, Bob and I found ourselves in the middle of a day at camp! There were kids of all ages playing, laughing, bonding with their counselors and living in the moment. The impact this organization has on children who have a parent with cancer is incredibly moving. We hope this book inspires others to get involved with Camp Kesem and help share their mission.

take it from me web Take It From Me. . .

Drew Goodell was a “perfectly normal” twelve-year-old kid…until one day he wasn’t. Drew was sitting in class one minute and the next, he was waking up in a hospital room connected to machines. Doctors diagnosed Drew with epilepsy. Through his amazing sense of humor, Drew has turning having this life-changing medical condition into a way of giving back and inspiring others. He has become an advocate for the Epilepsy Foundation and a mentor for other kids going through epilepsy. We realized how much others in his community look up to him and wanted to make sure he realized this, too. We hope Take It From Me helps share his important message: just because life looks different than it did doesn’t mean it can’t still be a good one.

Here For You web Here For You . . .

Kaelle Solange Morisset was born weighing three pounds with a grade four cleft palate and a flappy airway. For the first four months of Kaelle’s life, she was too fragile to be held. Eventually, Kaelle’s doctors decided to give her a tracheostomy to help her breathe. While this procedure saved her daughter’s life, Kaelle’s mom was met by much misunderstanding from family, friends and even strangers who thought this was a step backward for Kaelle. Here For You tells the inspiring story of a little girl who wasn”t suppose to make it and is a reminder to every reader to celebrate every moment.

Lilian’s Light . . .

Tiffani was diagnosed with stage IV metastatic breast cancer shortly after having her first child, Lilian. She has been battling her disease for over three years, yet her biggest fear remains: not always being present to experience life with Lilian. We wanted Lilian to have a special book that will make sure that her mom is always with her. Smile Books Project is proud to present Lilian’s Light. It was written by a mom, for a mom and in the name of all moms everywhere who do whatever it takes to love their children.

Bella Believes . . .

Bella was diagnosed with a form of leukemia shortly after graduating kindergarten. She battled cancer and was so excited to get back to doing things that made her happy. However, the lasting effects of her disease seem to remain and it’s hard for other kids her age to understand what she is going through. She wanted us to write a story for her about not judging a book by its cover – and that’s just what we did. Bella Believes is a book for all ages with a message that everyone needs to hear.

Dominic’s Best Game . . .

Dominic grew up playing sports. Between football, track and basketball, he was hard to stop. When knee pain sent him to the doctor, he never expected test results to reveal that he had cancer. But Dominic was never afraid. The positive attitude that his coaches admire so much took over. He fought off stage 4 osteosarcoma not once but twice. Although cancer has once again returned for a third round, we know Dominic will continue to defeat it. Dominic’s Best Game is about this teenage hero, his positive attitude and bringing awareness to pediatric cancer.

Doklan the Defender . . .

This struggle between Doklan and Dark Crystal is a battle that no person would want to endure; yet it occurs every day between the two of them. By living inside of Doklan in the form of cystic fibrosis, Dark Crystal is able to stick around and make his presence known daily. How will Doklan the Defender be able to put his villain in his place?

Madison’s Message . . .

When discussing her Smile Book, Madison wanted to educate others through her battle with cancer. She found that laughter was truly a helpful medicine when she would turn on Ellen during her treatments. The humor, dancing and funny games that Ellen includes in her daily lineup helped Madison through some of the most difficult moments in her young life. When sitting down to put her story together, we couldn’t find a better way to honor Madison’s wishes than by writing about our hero being interviewed by one of her very own heroes. The following story takes place in the future – well, in our own imaginary future. This is our way of trying to make her wish to meet Ellen come true.

Ricky’s Big Idea . . .

Ricky’s Big Idea tells the true story of how one day, while down on his luck, Ricky Smith made a decision to cheer up other people. This idea quickly turned into the epic movement we all know today as RAKE: Random Acts of Kindness Everywhere. Ricky started RAKE to enrich lives, encourage kindness and promote the act of “paying it forward.”

KylerStrong License Plate . . .

Our friends at the KylerStrong Foundation approached us for help creating a license plate for Ohio drivers to purchase that would raise awareness and funding for DIPG research in memory of Kyler. Of course we were all in and came up with this powerful design that accomplishes everything they requested! Senator Bill Coley took this bill to the Senate floor where it was passed! We look forward to seeing this design on cars all across Ohio very soon!

Super Josh’s Super Powers . . .

It’s hard to imagine spending your entire life in and out of the hospital, never knowing what “normal” feels like. This is an unfortunate reality for Josh, a young boy battling a rare and devastating disease. Yet, through it all, his sweet soul has brought smiles, laughter and fun to everyone he meets. Josh loves pretending to soar around with a cape, so we turned him in to a super hero! With his bright red cape and trusty sidekick by his side, Super Josh uses his super power to bring happiness to people he meets in the hospital. Thank  you, Super Josh for brightening our world with your spirit and for being such an inspiring young man!

Fishing with Blake and Zach . . .

Life was very typical for Blake and his brother, Zach. They loved fishing, playing sports, being outdoors and being kids. However, within a few weeks, their lives were turned upside down as Blake suddenly became sick and doctors realized that his heart was failing. After receiving a new heart, Blake grew stronger and realized how quickly life can change. Since he wants to be a nurse when he grows up, we decided to make his book one of reflection. Blake, a nurse, and Zach, a farmer join their parents for Sunday meals each week and reflect upon how much they overcame together, as a family. We hope this book reminds Blake that it’s not what happens to you but how you overcome it that makes you a hero. We thank him and his family for allowing us to share your courageous journey!

Dynamic Duo Detectives . . .

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…no! It’s the Dynamic Duo Detectives! Logan is in and out of hospitals but, with his trusty twin Sophia by his side, they are unstoppable. When they aren’t traveling to meet doctors and receive medical treatments, Logan and Sophia love playing together. When we learned how much they love animals and their new bunk beds, we knew exactly how to turn them into super sleuths! With magical bunk beds and their different talents, Logan and Sophia work together to solve the toughest mysteries and save animals around the world. We loved working with these two because there was no limit to the journey into their imagination!

Levi cover web Levi’s Super Angel. . . .

Levi may be young, but he has his very own super angel watching over him! His mom, Lisa, brought joy, laughter, kindness and love to the lives of everyone who knew her. When Levi was born, it was the best moment of her life and she loved him more than words can say. Sadly, she passed away suddenly in November of 2015, leaving behind countless family, friends and her precious son. To help Levi remember that his mom is always with him, we created “Levi’s Super Angel.” Thank you to the many people who shared Lisa’s life and legacy with us in order to make this happen for Levi.

Kylers cover small Forever KylerStrong . . . 

Kyler Bradley was a perfectly normal ten year old boy. That is, until October 16th, 2015 when he was diagnosed with an inoperable and incurable form of brain cancer called “DIPG.” We had the chance to meet with Kyler in his home. From stories of his mischief-making to kind heart deep inside, the little boy with freckles and beautiful blue eyes stole our hearts. Kyler battled this horrific disease from the day he was diagnosed until April 12th, 2016. We hope this book helps bring awareness to DIPG and shares Kyler’s legacy of courage and strength.

rose from ryan book Rose From Ryan . . . 

Far from his home in Hawaii, Ryan has been living in Cincinnati due to medical needs since he was a baby. Due to a compromised immune system, children like Ryan are unable to be around live plants and animals. When asked what his mom wanted his story to be about, she decided that it should be about the day that they finally get the good news that he is all better and they can return home. He would be well enough to also touch flowers for the first time. From this, we created “Rose From Ryan Poster and Coloring Book”.

Timmy The Great Timmy the Great . . . 

Timmy is a sweet little boy who loves dragons! When asked what his story should be about, his mom helped us by explaining how much he loves watching the garbage men come and empty trash cans. For Timmy, we decided he should be a Superhero with a Super Dragon sidekick! The dynamic duo would fly around the world, saving the animals and our planet from litter. For Timmy, we created “Timmy the Great Coloring Book”.

makaylas shoes Makayla’s Magical Shoes . . . 

Makayla is a little dancing diva! She loves animals and we loved meeting with her! Since she is a little young, her mom helped us come up with a perfect story line about a young girl who loves dancing. In fact, she has magical shoes that take her to animals in trouble so she can save them.  For Makayla, we created “Makayla’s Magical Shoes Poster and Coloring Book”.

bramlee cover Being a Bramlee . . . 

The Bramlee family has 5 children, 4 of them are all battling illnesses. This sweet family works hard to stay together and find happiness through their hard times. While meeting with them, it became clear that each child has many talents and interests. So, what story would be better than a family of Superheroes, all with their own special power! Together this family brings happiness wherever they go! For the Bramlees, we created “Being a Bramlee Coloring Book”.

alisa book Alisa’s Reasons to Smile . . . 

Alisa spent a lot of time away from her family and the farm that she lives on as well. While very sick, Alisa loved being able to stay in Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati. She loved it so much that she wanted her book to be about her time there and what brought her happiness. For Alisa, we created “Alisa’s Reasons to Smile Coloring Book”.

Print Mom and I are One . . . 

We learned about an incredible woman, a therapist who owned her own business and was also a mother of three sweet children under the age of four. Emily had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and was battling hard to be here for her children. When her health began to decline, she was looking for ways to help her children remember their beautiful, courageous mother. Emily passed away on January 2nd, 2016. Her spirit will always be with her three children, and hopefully her story will remain in their hearts like she remains in ours. For Emily, we created posters for each of her children.

11 fish friends . . . 

This children’s story is about how 11 fish that meet at school and realize they are different. Despite their differences they became lifelong friends. “11 fish friends” was created to teach children about accepting everyone’s differences and accept everyone as a friend. We hope that this will create less diversity and bullying problems later.

There’s Something Different About My Hair. . . 

There’s Something Different About My Hair is a must-read for every child.  Featuring lively characters and their various hairstyles, this story illustrates an important message:  we’re all different, and THAT makes us the same! Young readers meet a child who has lost her hair due to illness and learn that she is still the same person on the inside. This book was designed to help all children realize, recognize, and respect their most important characteristic – their individuality.

Courage the Diabetic Superhero . . .

We recently created a comic book about a diabetic superhero for Schneck Medical Center in Seymour, Indiana. We were asked by their diabetic educator to create this for recently diagnosed diabetics as an educational and motivational tool. It addresses important topics that diabetic children face such as feeling alone with this disease, eating correctly, taking medicine and that they’re just like courage, they are super too! Our goal is to have this in every hospital that needs an additional educational tool to help these children.