Local author Mike Davis gives back for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
Story about teddy bear inspired boy with cancer
Mike Davis, an author and illustrator based in Essex, never thought that his “silly” story about a teddy bear could ever be anything more than a fun children’s book.
However, earlier this month Davis learned that his fun, little story was more than that, as it became a source of comfort, inspiration, and strength for Nathaniel, a nine-yearold boy battling bone cancer in Arizona.
Davis wrote “A Teddy Bear Tale” in 2012. The story focused on Tristan, a teddy bear, and his group of Cuddly Defenders that helped protects their owners from the monsters under the bed and the critters that go bump in the night.
“We all remember that special stuffed animal we had as a child, the one that we couldn’t leave home without,” states the book’s prologue.
Davis said that over the years he would occasionally hear from parents who said the book helped their kids sleep with the lights off and make them feel safe before bedtime.
But it was only a couple weeks ago when Davis learned about Nathaniel.
His mother, Christine, reached out to Davis on Facebook, telling him the story of her son and how the book impacted him.
She said he carried around and slept with a stuffed orca he got from SeaWorld every night. After reading “A Teddy Bear Tale”, Nathaniel began to believe the orca was watching over him and protecting him as he battled cancer and dealt with the fear and anxiety of his journey.
“His mother wanted to let me know the joy my silly story gave him, how it helped him and the
memories it gave them as a family as it was read to him. I don’t know what to really say to that, except thank you,” said Davis. “I felt hollow saying ‘thank you’ when I was thinking, ‘i should be thanking you!’”
Sadly, Nathaniel, despite a brave fight, passed away in 2013. But Davis said he will keep his memory alive and use his story to give back during September, which is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
In Nathaniel’s memory, Davis is donating all the author royalties from sales of “A Teddy Bear Tale” to Children’s Bone Cancer Research until the end of September 2018.
“After hearing this story, which is just so bittersweet, and learning about this family and all they’ve been through, I thought, “What else could I do? There has to be something more I can do.’”
Also in keeping his memor y alive, Nathaniel’s family is now passing down the story of Tristan to their daughter.
“I am truly humbled by their story, and very happy it brought them joy at a very dark time,” said Davis.
Based in Essex, Davis came to Baltimore County from England over a decade ago.
As a writer, he said, you never truly know or can predict who will read your words and how it will impact them and the story of Nathaniel proves that.
For more information or to purchase “A Teddy Bear Tale”, visit http://theteddybeartales.alt-world.com.
Nathaniel and his trusty stuffed orca.