Girl's 'Notes Left Behind' Help Grieving Parents Help Others
POSTED: 3:24 pm EDT October 26, 2009
UPDATED: 12:38 pm EDT October 27, 2009
CINCINNATI -- Brooke and Keith Desserich say they never intended to write a book about their daughter.
It started as a parent's personal journal to their younger daughter Gracie, so she would be able to remember her 6-year-old sister, Elena, who was diagnosed with pediatric brain cancer. "They told us at the very beginning that she had 135 days to live," Keith Desserich said.Though her parents didn't want her to know the severity of her cancer, they feel that she must have known what was happening. The tumor slowly took away her ability to talk.But Elena was still able to write."That was her way to letting us know everything would be OK," Brooke Desserich said.After Elena passed away, her parents discovered that their daughter had left a message behind for them -- a lot of messages, actually."We started to pull out notes and they would be in between CDs or between books on our bookshelf," Keith Desserich said.Then the couple started finding them everywhere."We started to collect them and they would all say 'I love you Mom, Dad and Grace.' We kept finding them, and still to this day, we keep finding them," Keith Desserich said. "Literally, there are hundreds of notes that we found."Elena’s parents each hold onto a sealed note they've never opened."We always want to know that there’s one more note that we haven't read yet," Keith Desserich said.The Desserich family initially didn’t want the story published, but in the end, they decided they would if all the money went to their cancer foundation, The Cure Starts Now, dedicated to finding "home run" cures for all cancers.The book, Notes Left Behind, goes on sale Tuesday. The family will appear at the Joseph-Beth Bookstore on Tuesday and at Barnes and Noble in Kenwood on Wednesday, at 7 p.m. both days.
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