Giving Eliana her new trike and meeting Joanna with Sandra and Robyn of Variety – the Children’s Charity
A couple of weeks ago, the boys and I spent a wonderful afternoon with Eliana and Joanna presenting them with their new mobility aids.
The afternoon felt like the end of a big chapter in many ways. When we launched the book 'Meet HammerHead and Captain StinkyPants' last November, I had no idea how much we would be touched by what we had set out to do. It’s been an emotional journey; from the enthusiasm and excitement of the launch, the spectacular sales, to the brilliant and generous reviews the book has received. We have loved and laughed every minute.
Harris, Lewis and I signing books at the launch
After all, happiness is only real when shared. When Sandra Auckland of Variety, the Children's Charity, introduced us to the everyday challenges faced by Eliana and Joanna, and we met the brave children at Mont a L’Abbé school, it was very clear to us how the proceeds from the sales of 'Meet HammerHead and Captain StinkyPants' could help. Of the £10,000 that the book raised, £6,000 went to Variety in Jersey. This funded crucial support for both Eliana and Joanna.
Eliana suffered a near fatal drowning in a swimming pool in April 2009. Over the past eight years, she has had multiple stays in hospital and suffers from various medical and physical conditions.
Joanna and some of her fellow pupils at Mont a L’Abbé are unable to sit for long periods of time because of their physical needs and so can miss out on activities within the classroom. Their brand new Acheeva bed will enable them to be included in the classroom so they can learn together in safety and comfort.
Help a Guernsey Child also received £4,000. We continue to search for a special project in Guernsey and I will let you know how we get on.
In the meantime, I must once again thank everyone who has helped and supported our big adventure. My brilliant team, Susan Lintell (Illustrator) and Anna Anderson (Designer) must take the biggest bows, and the warm and generous reviews by Lucy Stephenson (Jersey Evening Post) and Rosie Allsopp (Guernsey Press) have also helped enormously. My colleagues at The Channel Islands Co-operative Society have simply been phenomenal, putting people over profit margins to relentlessly promote the book. We couldn't have done this without any of you.
But most of all, I thank my sons Harris and Lewis, as my inspiration for the story and the creators of new adventures every day. They now tell me they are "nearly as famous as you, Dad!" 😉
When you are 9 or 6, being the star of a superhero book must be a pretty big deal. But, the humility and grace they have both shown throughout this journey has been astonishing.
I believe, in the end, your children teach you who they are. Tricia, their mum, and I think that we really do have our very own superheroes.