Frome resident Lisa Wells has co-written a book with acclaimed children’s author Michelle Robinson, aimed at young children who are facing the loss of a parent.
Lisa was diagnosed with terminal bowel and liver cancer in December 2017 aged just 32, five weeks after giving birth to her second child, Saffia. She has worked tirelessly since then, founding the Lisa's Army movement to raise money for her daughters' future and local charities and to raise awareness.
All fees for the writing and illustration of the book have been waived and royalties from book sales will be split between Lisa’s chosen charities We Hear You and Mummy's Star. All other costs have been met by a crowdfunding campaign which raised more than £6400 in a matter of days.
Michelle Robinson is author of children's books including ‘How to Wash a Woolly Mammoth’ and ‘Goodnight Spaceman’ and a personal friend of Lisa's:
'It's been an absolute pleasure to work on Only One Of Me with Lisa. Her determination to spend her time positively makes her a wonderful person to know. The book embodies her love and warmth. The whole team behind it have worked so hard. It’s brilliant to know that it's already bringing a little comfort to families across the world during incredibly tough times.'
Lisa had this to say to BBC Radio Somerset's Claire Carter on publication day: 'It's been an absolute whirlwind, from initial idea to having them here…I feel so proud. I’ve had a few messages from people who are actually going through the same…saying how much they would really love the book and how they feel it would help their children…that's what it’s for, it's to help people. If they haven't got the words, maybe those words we've written can help them.'
Local counselling charity We Hear You (WHY) became involved with the book in August after seeing excerpts from the text on social media and were chosen as one of the charity partners for the book. WHY’s specialist children’s counsellors worked with Michelle and Lisa on later drafts of the text, along with clinical psychologist Dr Konrad Jacobs.
Fundraising and Communications Manager Gemma Wilkes says 'It’s been a fantastic project to be involved with – Lisa has extraordinary drive and energy in the face of incredibly difficult circumstances. This book is a beautiful part of the legacy she will leave for her family and a gentle and sensitive introduction to the subject for other families in a similar situation. We’re delighted to have been asked to contribute and can’t wait to toast the team’s achievement at the launch party.'
Only One of Me is published by Graffeg Books and available now in bookstores and online. Frome bookshop Hunting Raven Books are offering 100% of their commission to We Hear You and Mummy’s Star.