Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening, everyone. I guess it all depends on when you are reading this. I know that it’s been some time since I posted anything to this website. Usually when I do it’s something about ENDWORLD – A Novel, or the ongoing saga of completing the sequel, CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD. I’ve even written a bit about the planned third novel in The Endworld Series, HEAVEN AND ENDWORLD. I’ve written about reviews, both negative and positive; I’ve written about sales and the like. But this update is not about any of those things. Far from it, actually. “To everything in turn, there is a season” and there will be time to update you on them in the future. At this moment, though? This is about something much more important. That said?
I’d like to take a moment to introduce you to someone you may or may not have heard of. The adorable little guy pictured below? His name is Shane Lee:
Shane attends school with my daughters Cara and Natalie. He is four years old, loves to eat ice cream, loves his family and is undeniably bright, super-energetic and curious about everything.
On June 23, 2014 Shane was diagnosed with DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), a rare form of brain cancer that is super-resistant to chemotherapy and only affects children. According to The Cure Starts Now, less than 10% of DIPG children live longer than 18 months from the time of their diagnosis. Survival is even more rare: To date, there have been no known survivors. Symptoms of DIPG include double vision, the inability to close one’s eyelids completely, dropping one side of the face and difficulty chewing and swallowing. Unfortunately these symptoms usually worsen rapidly because the tumor is rapidly growing.
At the time of his diagnosis, Shane was given a timeline of anywhere between six and 15 months. He has since been enduring radiation which he just completed yesterday. His family, teachers and friends hope and pray that Shane’s resilience and zest for life will cause him to defy the statistics and live a long and fruitful life. Everyone that cares about him hopes that his passionate tenacity, stubbornness, courageousness, humor and bright personality will help him through the trying days and months ahead.
When I first heard about Shane’s plight, my reaction was the same as anyone’s would be: Why? How is it even remotely feasible that someone so young and innocent could be diagnosed with such an invasive condition? A few years ago, another friend of mine’s child lost his battle with Pediatric Cancer so admittedly? This, and the close proximity to my daughters hit double hard. “Not again,” I kept saying to myself over and over again, “it’s not fair.” Said reaction quickly segued into another: Determination. I knew I needed to help, but how? Via donation? Sure. Via prayer? Most definitely. But it didn’t feel like enough. So I continued to rack my brain for an answer and eventually, with the help of a couple of Shane’s teachers and the ongoing support of my wonderful wife, I came up with an answer. The only answer, really.
That said (you can skip the drum roll), I give you:
What is it? Quite simply put, ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition it is a special edition of my 19 year labor of love; my debut novel. Not a “Director’s Cut” for the content of the original manuscript is unchanged. What it is is a newly created, newly formatted version that includes a Forward–“What is the Shane Campaign?”–and as an extra added bonus, the Prologue and the first two chapters of CHILDREN OF ENDWORLD. Here are a couple of additional shots of the interior. SPOILER ALERT: If you have not yet read ENDWORLD – A Novel, feel free to avert your eyes from the second picture as it is the first page of the excerpt:
I will be going live with it very soon, likely in conjunction with a fundraiser that I, my girls and others will be attending on August 28 at Sky Zone in Glen Mills, PA, Let’s Jump for Joy! Once I do, all of the proceeds from ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition–which will sell in eBook for $3.99 and in on-demand paperback for $15.99–will go toward Shane Lee’s fight. He’s a lot like William MacNuff. Not a grizzled revolutionary by any stretch of the imagination, but an innocent faced with seemingly insurmountable odds against him. And he is trying like hell to beat the system and find his way to his own, proverbial “Free Caymen.”
You see, Shane, his family, teachers and friends all believe the same thing: That saying “there is no cure” is not and never will be acceptable. Whether you believe in God, a god or some other deity or deities… hell, whether you believe in nothing save for the randomness of the universe you… I cannot concede that the governing bodies of the All would allow any child or anyone to be struck down before he or she has had the opportunity to experience life. There has to be a way. And if raising money to donate to this cause gets us even a step or two closer to finding a cure, not just for Shane but for anyone that is afflicted with DIPG than gul’darnit, I am going to try. And I urge you too, as well.
If you choose to buy ENDWORLD – A Novel, The Shane Campaign Edition–and I certainly hope that you will; I’m probably going to buy one or two myself–then you, too, will be doing your part to help find a cure. But you don’t have to start or stop there. Please take a moment and check out the youcaring.com fundraiser page for Shane, linkable HERE. His family has also set up a Facebook page with a number of helpful links to check out, linkable HERE. Knowledge is power. The more people that know about this and contribute, the more chance that we will find a cure and Shane will be able to continue enjoying the great gift of life. Continue eating ice cream. Continue spending time with his family for many, many years to come.
Please, show your support. I understand that not everyone can afford to shell out $3.99 or $15.99 to buy a book they may have already read, even though it does contain the first 30 or 40 pages of the almost-completed sequel (nudge, nudge). If you cannot, then in lieu of monetary assistance please pray for Shane and his family. Light a candle at Church this Sunday or say a prayer in Synagogue. Show your support in whatever capacity you can. He and his loved ones deserve it!
And that? That’s my pitch. I am in the process of finalizing the formatting for both the eBook edition and the paperback edition, presently. I will inundate you I MEAN update you (ha, ha) with more information, i.e. links and such as they become available. Please, get the word out. Let your friends, family, Facebookverse, Twitterverse and subjective reality on this side of the proverbial wormhole of existence know. And in closing:
Thank you all for your time and ongoing support. Best Wishes, F.