When my twin sister called me from Los Angeles to tell me that her 10-year-old son, Jackson, had a brain tumor. I was completely numb. It didn’t seem real. Within 24 hours, he had gone from a basic MRI to the operating room. I felt far away and helpless at my home in Nashville. All I could do was pray. When I finally got to visit, Jackson wanted to show me his journals. They were filled with his strategies for coping on “MRI Day” which, for him, happened every three months. He had developed ways to calm himself when they put in the IV, stay still in the machine for long periods of time and not get scared by the noise of the machine. After seeing another little boy who was screaming and crying before his MRI scan, Jackson decided that he wanted to find a way to help other kids not be scared of MRIs. I said, “Why not write a children’s book?” I didn’t actually know how to write or produce a children’s book, but Jackson was onboard, and I felt a tug in my heart urging me to make it happen. Rather than simply a cute story about Jackson’s experience, we wanted to create a tool that nurses, doctors and child life specialists could actually use with their patients. After I wrote the text, we ran it by lots of different people in the healthcare industry to be sure we got it right. It took more than three years, but I think it reflects the spirit of Jesus’ intention when He said, “Let the little children come unto me.” The book, The Donut That Roared, is my way of helping children know that they are loved, that they matter and that they can always find comfort because God is always with us. I believe that God has us all here for a reason. We need to use the gifts He has given us and follow that nudge in our heart, even when we’re not sure we can do it, even when we think “I’m not good enough.” I’ve learned that what seems impossible is possible if we will only listen to that “still small voice” and take a leap of faith.
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