Lo­cal au­thor Mike Davis gives back for Child­hood Can­cer Aware­ness Month

Story about teddy bear in­spired boy with can­cer

The Avenue News - - FRONT PAGE - By: GIANNA DECARLO gde­carlo@ches­pub.com

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.

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