A young writer by the name of Allison Shaffer has a story out titled "Tiny, The Small Christmas Tree," which is a christmas book she penned but had illustrated by 10 different patients from Driscoll Children's Hospital. Like most writers Shaffer has based this story on personal experience.
Shaffer who is currently 17 years old is also a former patient of the hospital and held a book signing along with her young book illustrators on Monday at 3 p.m. The young illustrators were also on hand to participate in the signing at the hospital where the book is onsale in the Carousel Gift Shop.
Interested parties can also purchase the book through the Driscoll's website (www.driscollchildrens.org) for $5. The proceeds from all sales will go toward the Marcia K. Wilcox scholarship which has benefited more than 90 Driscoll cancer patients since its creation.
Shaffer is a second-born twin who at birth weighed just two pounds and spent 63 days in the intensive care unit of the hospital. When she was 4 years old Shaffer was diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy which affects her left leg.
Shaffer had to undergo surgeries between the ages of 4 and 13 in order to help her walk. "After the surgeries, she had to learn to walk again basically," said Wendy Shaffer, Allison's mother. "She's been a trooper through it all."
The book itself is about an abnormally small Christmas tree that none of the children want to play around. However, the tree adapts and learns to use its strengths to become just as popular as the other Christmas trees.
"I came up with the story when I was a kid," Shaffer said. "I really was kind of a loner in a way, so I drew back on my personal experience as a child. I thought back to when I was a kindergartner and I went from there. Once I got into writing mode, it really just took me one night to write it. The story just came to me."