Thursday 8 May 2014

Candace Kate story: a review and giveaway

Nancy Fileccia and her husband, Rusty, knew when they adopted  a blind child  that there would be challenges ahead but not quite how complex or heart rending these would be. Candace Kate turned out to have issues far beyond "just" blindness with a rare and fatal illness known as Batten's Disease. They had just five years with their daughter before her death aged 13.

Candace Kate was adopted from China aged eight. The Fileccia family had been told that she was blind but not about other difficulties. It soon became apparent that she didn't have a large Chinese vocabulary and had learning delays. It didn't become obvious for a year or so that she wasn't progressing as expected and that there was something else going on. Something which eventually turned out to be Batten's Disease.

The book, More than a Memory: The Candace Kate Story is written from Nancy's personal diary jottings and documents Nancy's family life through the difficult years of Candace Kate's illness including realising that something was wrong, the complexities of getting to a diagnosis of a rare disease and the distress of looking after a child who is loosing abilities and becoming more ill. 

This is a moving book and has some important messages.

Probably the part that struck me most is right at the end of the book where Nancy writes

I would not trade one day of having Candace. The five years she spent with a family who loved her was far better than living those same five years in an orphanage with no mom and dad.

This book is an encouragement for anyone who is bringing up a family in somewhat challenging circumstances. Nancy brings out some important factors which helped her: the support of others especially that of her best friend, Paula Winget; having times of respite and help in the home. Through this difficult time when Nancy and Paula spent much time around Candace's hospital bed, they started their company, A Journey through Learning.

More than a Memory is a moving book and is likely to bring tears to your eyes but it is worth reading how Nancy was able to walk with God through this most difficult time and is very honest about her questions and thoughts.

I really don't think I can do this. I find myself begging God to please take this away. Is this how Jesus felt in the garden?

I would recommend this book. It is a moving read but a testimony to God's grace in challenging circumstances.

Nancy has kindly answered some questions about the book.

What was your goal with writing this book?

My prayer for this book is exactly what I DID NOT have, INFORMATION!!! When Candace got sick, I had never known another sick child. I had never seen a family struggle. I did not know what to do, who to talk to, who to question. I felt so alone. Then, during her illness, I had so many feelings going on. I did not know if they were "normal!" Was it ok to be mad? Who was I mad at? How much do I let friends really see me in pain? I pray that through this book, parents will now have the answer to these questions and more!

What is one lesson you learned from writing this book?

How hard it was to read through it from beginning to end. The day Candace died, I put the journal away. It was two years before I ever picked it up again. Even then, it was months before I could read through the entire thing. I guess the biggest lesson I learned was just how strong my family was. My husband and I survived what many couples don't. My children were living their lives for God, where many others turn to the world for answers. I realized just how blessed I really was.

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing a book?

GRAMMAR!!! I have suffered from dyslexia my entire life. The  weird part is most people with dyslexia hate to write, but I love it! I was very blessed in high school to have an English teacher who encouraged me to not be afraid. She told me that putting my thoughts on paper, being creative, and telling a story was the hard part. She said that anyone can edit! I have been very blessed to be able to surround myself with people who look past my horrible spelling and grammar and look at the story. Paula is my biggest support!! Felice Gertwiz and Susan Marlow who both are the reason this book even exist are my angels!! I am sure their side of this story is very different!!

Buying the book
More than a Memory can be purchased either as a download currently at a sale price of $5.95  (about £3.51) or as a book for $13.95 (about £8.23) again a sale price.
It is available from Amazon in mobi format for Kindle for £3.65. It is also available form Kobo for £4.44.

The first two people to leave a comment on this post will receive a pdf copy of More than a Memory.

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  1. It does sound like a good book. What a story of adoption. I would love to read it.

  2. Oh this sounds like such an encouraging book for mothers x

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