Writers Wage War Against Cancer with the Pen

Square WUFC Logo With Wording 500x500While I was traveling to work one day in the news broadcast the Parker Jensen, story about a mother who was refusing chemotherapy treatment for her son. Because I am a nurse, I asked myself why a mother would decide against the best that medicine could offer for her child. This inspired the journey that led me to write my novel   Save the Child.

To hone my writing skills I took several writing classes and completed the Crafting the Character Based Novel, Polishing the Character Based Novel and Publishing the Character Based Novel Courses taught by Pamela R. Goodfellow PhD. At the completion of this MFA program Save the Child was launched at the Goodfellow Publishing Book Launch Celebration on November 4th, 2010 that featured eight authors – Dr. Goodfellow’s graduating students.

As we planned the event we noticed that each one of us had experiences with cancer.  Pamela had lost her spouse to esophageal cancer. Barbara Lofgreen – one of the original eight authors had stage IV lung cancer. Louise Laughlin’s husband was an esophageal cancer survivor; she lost her sister and sister-in-law to cancer, and had several other family members who were cancer patients or survivors. Anna Arnett lost a niece and nephew to cancer. Nancy Burns lost her sister to cancer in May of 2010. Lisa Finder’s brother and sister-in-law were cancer survivors and she had recently founded the White Lions Foundation – a non-profit organization dedicated to research and education in alternative cancer therapies. I lost an uncle to cancer, my cousin had ovarian cancer, and an aunt and uncle were survivors of cancer. At the beginning of my career as a registered nurse one of my past nursing instructors died of cancer. Throughout my thirty-four year career I’ve cared for numerous cancer patients both in the hospital and at home. The awful disease of cancer tied our group together even more tightly than the bonds we formed as students, and fellow writers.

We decided to hold a silent auction to raise money for cancer research during our book launch celebration. We wanted to make a difference in the war against cancer and called ourselves: Writers Unite to Fight Cancer. (WUFC) Lisa Finder said: “The opportunity to touch the life of another person in a way that makes us both better is given to me every time I meet someone with cancer. This weekend I had three people ask for help in their battle with cancer, an illness that remains beyond our current means of medical help. I see White Lions Foundation as a way to reach past the tips of my own fingers and join hands with the world to lift us out of the fearful tragedy taking the lives of cancer victims every day. Together we can embrace the positive elements of the earth and heal one another. I have lost count of the number of lives I have watched be taken by cancer and I hope one day the need to count these loses is stopped altogether. We must rid the face of the planet of this devastating illness.  The Goodfellow Publishing book and fund raising celebration is a great opportunity to share my love of writing with an event that highlights my passion to stop cancer.” White Lions became the WUFC fiscal agent.

After our first fundraiser, we didn’t want to stop. Our passions were stirred when we lost our classmate, Barbara Lofgreen, to cancer in January 2011. We continued holding book events to contribute funds towards cancer research. In the first year of our existence we raised over $6000.00. At the time I’m writing this article we are preparing for the WUFC Arizona Centennial Cancer Research Fundraiser to be held on February 2nd, 2012 from 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Our group has grown to over fifty members. Twenty-eight WUFC authors are participating in the 2/2/12 event.

One in three people will develop cancer during their lifetime. I think that is the cause that so many in our group are either cancer caregivers, patients, survivors, or have lost someone to cancer. We will continue to hold cancer research charity events in the future as our way to battle against the numbers: This year, more than 1.5 million people in the United States will be diagnosed with cancer, and more than 7.6 million people around the world will die from cancer.

As a nurse with thirty four years experience I have always wanted to help find a cure for cancer. Now that I am a full-time writer I finally feel that I am working to achieve that goal with Writers Unite to Fight Cancer. I am honored to be associated with these kind and generous people who are also wonderful authors. Writers Unite to Fight Cancer strive for better tomorrows by donating to cancer research today. Together we can make a difference.

Writers Unite to Fight Cancer next event is the WUFC Arizona Centennial Cancer Research Fundraiser on February 2nd, 2012 from 6:30 pm until 9:30 pm at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. We chose two Arizona based research programs to be our designated charities for this event. Each will equally share 100% of the net proceeds from this historic event: Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, collaboratively with Arizona State University under the direction of Robert Waters PhD and The University of Arizona Cancer Center natural product research program directed by Dr. Leslie Gunatilaka.

Lisa and I invited Daniel Rubin ND, FABNO to be our Keynote Speaker. He is also serving as our Medical Director for this event. We are honored that Arizona Senator Jerry Lewis agreed to be a guest speaker. CTCA offered to send Shauna Birdsall, ND, FABNO – naturopathic oncologist and Sharon Day, RD – nutritionist. Jude LaCava, Fox 10 News Sports Anchor and cancer research supporter, will serve as the Emcee for the first half of the program. Francis Battaglia, president of KFNX News Talk Radio 1100 will cover the second half.

The remaining members of the original group of eight WUFC Authors are participating in the 2/2/12 event: Anna Arnett, author of Lolly’s Yarn lost a niece and nephew to cancer. Nancy Lee Burns, author of Retirement Sacred or Scared lost sister to cancer May 2010. She also lost a close friend to cancer December of 2010. Louise Laughlin, author of I Must Be Dreaming, Santa Goes Shopping and Libby’s Vacation, lost her sister and her sister-in-law to cancer. Her husband is an esophageal cancer survivor. Cindy R, Williams, author of Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today, has a brother whois a testicular cancer survivor.

New WUFC members for this eventinclude Five to Thrive co-authors Lise Alschuler, ND and Karolyn A. Gazella, medical journalist who  both are cancer survivors.  Their sponsor, Kyowa, has donated 160 books to include in the complimentary gift bags that will be given to each guest who attends the event. Alschuler and Gazella are also co-authors of The Definitive Guide to Cancer and co-founders of the multimedia educational initiative Cancer Thrivers.

Additional WUFC authors at this event include: Angela Morrison MFA of Mesa is a young adult author of four published books.  Anna Arnett is a Chandler octogenarian and author of Lolly’s Yarn. Betsy Love wrote Identity. Betty Webb is a journalist and literary critic for more than 25 years. Her Lena Jones detective series is set in Arizona. Beverly Jane Phillips the author of Learning a New Language, Speech About Women and From Heaven to My Heart, God’s, Journey With Me. Beverly’s mother’s mother, mother’s brother and her mother all died of colon cancer. Reverend Cay Randall-May, PhD is an author and artist who is also a cancer survivor.  Her book with CD is Healing and the Creative Response.  Cynthia Roedig is author of Ginger Boy and the Silver Lariat. David Arnett is co-author of The Baltimore Principles. David Lee Summers is an astronomer at Kitt Peak National Observatory outside of Tucson. His wife is a breast cancer survivor and he writes science fiction novels. Dorian Tether of Scottsdale is a children’s book author and illustrator; The Pelican and the Whale and When The Coyote Howls. Gilat Ben-Dor of Phoenix is an author and CEO of Gusto Power. She wrote: The Confetti Path, The Rainbow Blueprint, and The Gusto Power Workbook. Kerry Lynn Blair, currently in Dewey, is an ovarian cancer survivor and author of Counting Blessings as well as several LDS fiction and young adult novels. Her 2011 Christmas story is Angels Bending Near the Earth. Marsheila Rockwell is the author of: The Shard Axe and Legacy of the Wolves. Her two year old son has neuroblastoma. Nancy Lee Burns, resident of Pine is a retired social worker and wrote Retirement: Sacred or Scared. Nancy lost her sister to cancer May 2010. Theresa Sneed is the author of No Angel. Theresa’s son is a cancer survivor. Susan L. Krueger’s newest book is Horrifa’s Magic Makeover: “Witch” Way to the Ball?

Award Winning Authors hold Cancer Research Fundraising Event 2/2/12

5.0.2Award-winning Arizona authors who are members of Writers Unite to Fight Cancer will hold an Arizona Centennial Cancer Research Fundraiser on February 2nd, 2012 from 6:30 PM until 9:30 PM at the Arizona Biltmore on 2400 E. Missouri in Phoenix.  [Read more…]

Author Angela Morrison Gives Back

sing me to sleep coverThe first two parts of Angela Morrison’s M+L Forever Blog Tour at this site focused on her writing education and processes as well as her publications and marketing experiences. The week we will see how Angela is a great example of an author who gives back to her community. Margaret: With Sing Me to Sleep you support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF). I’ve seen that you are a member of Writers Unite to Fight Cancer. You are a great example of a philanthropist. Why do you support these causes and do you support any other charitable organizations?

Angela: I donate to humanitarian relief and educational efforts around the world through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I often get approached by bloggers for signed books for literacy and other causes. A blogger in the Philippines held a huge auction to give to earthquake victims, and I donated books and critiques. I’m always happy to appear at fundraising events free of charge. [Read more…]

Part 2 Angela Morrison Author Interview

CaymanSummer_Cover copyToday we continue the interview with Angela Morrison as part of her M+L Forever Blog Tour and contest. Last week we discussed her MFA education and writing process. Today we discuss her publishing and promotion experiences.

Margaret: I see that two of your books are published by Penguin Razorbill and the other two are not. Explain how you made the decision to self-publish and the process you went through to do that.

Angela: A week before SING ME TO SLEEP (March 2010) released, my editor called me and told me she was leaving Razorbill–that Friday. Razorbill had the sequel to TAKEN BY STORM, UNBROKEN CONNECTION, under consideration. I had a very stringent option clause with them. That Monday I got an email from her boss, the publisher at Razorbill, rejecting it. My agent was at a loss what to do with it. We agreed [Read more…]

Interview with Award Winning Author: Angela Morrison

Takenbystorm_Cover_frontToday our guest is author Angela Morrison as part of her M+L Forever Blog Tour. She wrote the YA novels: Taken By Storm Saga, books 1 2 & 3 as well as Sing Me to Sleep, 2010 Goodreads Choice YA Nominee.

Margaret: How has belonging to Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) helped you in your writing career?

Angela: I should be their poster child. I’d still be wandering around lost without SCBWI. I joined them when we lived in Canada. I’d published a short story in THE FRIEND magazine and felt I was ready to be a member. You don’t have to be published to join–many members aren’t–but I didn’t know that. I devoured their Bulletin and went to a local conference. Then I went to their annual conference in LA. I found a brochure for a low-residency MFA program on a table of freebies. I picked it up and noticed all the faculty had MFA’s from Vermont College. [Read more…]