Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Birthday Books

Two best friends, Will Mitchell and Liam King brought the Book Fairy books that they collected at their birthday parties. They are both 8 years old and attend Durham Academy. Instead of birthday presents, their families decided to ask their friends to bring books to donate to the kids at the clinic.

The Book Fairy greeted them in costume. This is a special thanks to the children who have done the same or collected money. A very small gesture that will impact many others in a positive way.

This Thanksgiving please give thanks to all who show compassion in even the smallest ways. They make a difference.

My love and thanks,

Book Fairy

Friday, October 16, 2009

Book News

I thought I’d catch you all up on what has been going on with the Book Fairy. Most of you will remember that the UNC Pediatric Oncology Clinic moved into the new cancer hospital this past August. The Book Fairy was asked to make an appearance the first week. Boy, what a beautiful place. Dr. Gold and his staff quickly set up shop and once again are making a difference in many families’ lives. The Book Fairy was pleased to be included in the move.

The staff was overwhelmed by how many boxes of wonderful books we have accumulated. Their reaction during that first week was, “No more books!”

We have done such a good job collecting books; we actually have more than there is storage for. I have rented a storage unit to hold the overflow that was living in our garage.

In these past couple of months, the Book Fairy has run into stumbling blocks that have made her wonder if it is all worth it. Lack of storage, difficulties with parking and just figuring out a whole new system of displaying the books. Karl came to her as she was working in the clinic this past Friday. She was finally able to put some “library books” in the brand new exam rooms (she wasn’t allowed before) and Karl spoke to her and said, “Mama, this is what it’s all about. It’s not about the parking or the lack of storage. It’s about the kids. Remember all the boring times we were trapped in a similar exam room waiting to be seen and wouldn’t it have been wonderful to find a stack of books to read together? This is what you’re doing it for.”

I have held out special books for the “library”. You know, collections of stories, I Spy or Finding Waldo or books that are interesting, but more than one child would enjoy reading. That’s the type of book I was able to put out.

The other books are going home with families or they are scattered around the clinic after they have served as a distraction. The clinic’s Rec. Therapist has gotten involved and plans to involve a hospital volunteer to help restock the shelves. That will be great to have the inside involvement.

The Book Fairy would eventually like to find someone who would volunteer a storage closet somewhere in Chapel Hill, so we don’t have to spend too much money on storage. We had hoped there would be enough storage at the new hospital, but space will always be at a premium there. So, let us know if you know of a place we can store boxes of books that will be moved out and then replenished when we have another book drive.

We still need preschool Spanish books and money donations.

Thanks for your continued interest. Our work is worth it.

Love, Kathy

Book Fairy

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Chapel of the Cross

Yesterday I made an appearance at the summer church camp at Chapel of the Cross Episcopal Church in Chapel Hill. I spoke of Karl, our lives during treatment and about Karl’s Books. They are collecting books and making creative bookmarks for the clinic. I really enjoyed talking to these smart, attentive children. A few of them reminded me of Karl. He was always so good in a group. Always the one answering and asking questions.

I spoke to three different groups—upcoming kindergarteners thru 6th grade. During one of my talks I explained that when I go to the hospital I don’t tell my personal story. I am just there to provide books and occasionally speak to a family about their experience. One little girl raised her hand after she thought about it for a while and said, “You don’t want the families to give up hope”. And I said yes.

I took photos of Karl doing all of the activities he did during treatment. Reading, computer, swimming, rafting, boating, acting. I stressed how active he stayed. So determined to keep going. A boy on the front row raised his hand and said,” Since you knew he was going to die, you wanted to give him the best life you could before he went to Heaven”. I automatically started to speak and try to make sense of what he said and then I stopped myself. His simple words summed up all three years. We all wanted him to have the best we could give him.

I tear up as I remember these children. It makes me want to drive over to that church and grab them both and whirl them around. Oh what insight. I hope they can retain that all their lives.

I spoke to them about the prayer shawl we used from Karl’s uncle and aunt in Greenville, Michigan. I talked of how we prayed for healing and how what you pray for might turn out differently than you had in mind. I told them I have had so much healing and now that I think about it, those children are part of my healing, too. I told them I believe in God more than ever before. Karl is still with us. I told them Chink had a dream last weekend where he woke up laughing out loud. He and Karl were laughing at the funniest joke they had ever heard. Karl is still with us. He is just on the Other Side.

Peace to you this summer.

Love, Kathy
Book Fairy

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Dr Gold Thank You Letter

Dr. Stuart Gold wrote a thank you letter to the Culbreth 8th grade class for their fund raising project. I am going to include it here so that you can understand the importance of Karl's books and so that in your reading of this wonderful letter, you can be thanked for your efforts as well.

"Dear Culbreth Middle School 8th Grade Class,

Thank you so much for your generous contribution to our clinic. Karl's Books has become a huge success, providing reading material for many sick children. When our patients come to clinic the first thing they do is go to Karl's book shelf and see what new books have been delivered for them to read. It is an incredible program and your contribution will help immensely in supporting the effort.

Karl was a special young man and your gift is a great tribute to his memory.


Stuart H. Gold, MD
Professor, Pediatrics
Division Chief, Pediatric Hematology/Oncology
UNC School of Medicine
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

And I thank you as well.
Love, Kathy
The Book Fairy

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Culbreth Middle School 8th Grade Class

Two 8th grade English teachers (one our friend Julie Lucier) at southern Chapel Hill's Culbreth Middle School, encouraged their classes to participate in a reading fund raiser for Karl's Books. The Book Fairy made an appearance to their school today to collect the money they had raised. She was VERY surprised to discover that they had raised $970.50!!!!! This was just in 8 short weeks. The kids met today at lunch to give the Book Fairy a huge check. They should be very proud of their service work. I'm sure they also enjoyed the books they read. This will help buy many new books for the children at the clinic.

My love, Kathy