Saturday, October 6, 2007


On one of my first trips to the clinic with bags of books to restock the shelves, I met a 13 year old boy named Zach who loves to read. He was disappointed that day because all of the books on the shelves were “too young” for him. He has remained in my thoughts and every two weeks I take a special bag for him in hopes that there will be something to help him escape into the world of reading. As I arrived one day later in the summer one of the nurses yelled out to me, "Zach is here today!". And there he was looking a bit off color, bald, hooked up to the IV receiving his treatment (I think he has leukemia, but that's certainly not what I want to talk to him about). He was very intent on a pencil drawing and I sat down with him and we talked about books. I had brought him the new Harry Potter book that Fran Schaefer had given me, and he told me he had already finished it. The nurses spotted that special book and put it in there "Birthday Box". So, he took home the Artemis Fowl books instead. He was there with his mother and sister--they drive up from Wilmington. While I was putting out the books I discovered an old issue of National Geographic Kids magazine that was Karl's and I said here is something else for Zach to read. By now he his lying down feeling extra crummy, but when I looked over at him there he was with his head in the magazine. All of a sudden--just like Karl used to do, he blurted out "Did you know that they invented parachutes before airplanes?" He had a huge smile on his face--the first I had seen. It totally transformed his face. At that moment I wished I'd had my camera. Seeing him again really helped my day.

This past week when my friend Donna and I went in with a new load of books, I noticed that the special Zach bag was still in the nurses station. Cindy told me that he came last week and was in and out of the clinic so fast (and she was probably very busy) that she never had a chance to give him the bag. That was good news to me. That means he is doing better and more than likely enjoying 8th grade.

Zach will always be special to me. He let me know that this book project is important and that Karl wasn’t the only one who loves to escape with a good book.

Thank you for your support.

Love, Kathy

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