Only One of Me

Lisa had always enjoyed writing and had kept a blog during the course of her treatment as she felt writing really helped her to address her feelings and also sort of relaxed her at the same time.  Lisa would feel better somehow for putting it all down somewhere.

Determined to leave a lifelong legacy of love for Ava-Lily and Saffia, she approached local children’s author Michelle Robinson for guidance — and Only One of Me was born.

The story behind the book:-

Death is never a nice thing to think about, and it’s always a difficult thing to talk about—particularly with children. But for families like Lisa’s there is no getting away from it.

Lisa wanted to create a book that not only expressed her undying love for her daughters, but that directly addressed the fact that she will die. “Other books don’t really do the job I want them to,” she says. “They talk about mummy being in the stars or something. My girls wouldn’t understand that. They’d want to know when I was coming back or when they could come and visit.”

The result of Lisa meeting Michelle was a deeply moving poem that perfectly expressed Lisa’s feelings.

Lisa Wells was diagnosed with terminal bowel and liver cancer at the end of 2017, aged 32. She had just given birth to her second daughter, Saffia, sister to Ava-Lily, five.

Lisa’s doctors gave her a devastating prognosis. She was told she had between just two and twelve months to live.

Lisa worked tirelessly to raise thousands of pounds for charity, all while undergoing chemo, working and raising her daughters. Along the way she has enlisted ‘Lisa’s Army’ — a group of friends, family and admirers committed to supporting Lisa’s family through the months and years ahead.

Lisa’s story immediately struck a nerve when it was shared widely online, resulting in a publishing deal with Graffeg Books and a JustGiving crowdfunding pot to support the project that reached its target in days.

Two books in 12 weeks!

Publishing a full colour picture book — two, in this case! — is usually a slow and considered process taking around two to three years in all. Lisa didn’t have that long. In order for allow Lisa to share the book with her family in her lifetime, it was completed and available to buy in just twelve weeks — largely thanks to a superhuman effort from illustrators Catalina Echeverri and Tim Budgen.

Catalina and Tim burned the midnight oil to create two stunning books along with design and editorial help from Graffeg, with additional support from Emily Lamm of Orchard Books and Deirdre McDermott, Tanya Rosie and Maria Tunney of Walker Books.

Lisa’s wish

It is Lisa’s wish that Only One of Me will help other families facing bereavement long into the future, bringing them comfort and raising funds for two of her favourite charities, Mummy’s Star and We Hear You (WHY).

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