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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Young author writes children's book about losing parent

Young Author Publishes Children's Book to Honor Late Father and Help Children Cope with the Loss of a Parent

New Year's Eve 2006 changed Megan D'Arcy and her family's lives forever, when the plane Megan's father was flying home crashed, despite his 36 years of piloting experience, only two miles from Romeo Airport. He died at just 53 years old.

To help understand her own grief, Megan, who was 13 at the time, wrote a children's story she titled, "Be Happy." The book features a royal frog family, mirroring of her own family, in which a young frog Princess finds out her father, the King, has died in an accident. Her mother, the Queen, helps her and her frog princess sister cope with their loss and learn to "Be Happy" as their father would wish for them. Now 18, D'Arcy is publishing the book to help other children.

"I decided to publish the book I wrote when I was 13 to reach out to small children who have lost a parent or even both parents," said D'Arcy. "I hope the simplicity of the story and beauty of the illustrations will inspire other children who have lost a parent to be happy and strive to succeed in honor of their parent's memories."

D'Arcy has kept her own promise to strive to succeed in her father's honor. She holds a 4.0 GPA, takes six Advanced Placement courses at Rochester Hills' Stoney Creek High School and interned for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow and a microbiology cancer research lab in Dallas, Texas.

D'Arcy serves as president of Kiwanis volunteering organization Key Club, is vice president of her high school's student council, leads the Varsity Tennis Team as captain and is a member of the National Honor Society, among other activities.

Further demonstrating her commitment to helping children who face the same situation, D'Arcy has dedicated proceeds from the book to benefit Bloomfield Hills nonprofit Yatooma's Foundation For The Kids.

Founded by attorney Norman Yatooma, Yatooma's Foundation For The Kids was inspired by the extraordinary hardship endured by Yatooma and his family after the death his father, Manual S. Yatooma, who was tragically murdered in 1993. The Foundation is solely dedicated to helping families who have lost a parent. The Foundation provides a full spectrum of assistance including grief counseling, support groups, needs-based financial assistance, family budget development, resource referrals and academic success programs.

Nationally, it is estimated 1 in 10 children will experience the death of a parent by the time he or she graduates high school. In Michigan, approximately 45,000 children currently residing in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties will experience the death of one or both parents before they graduate high school.

"Be Happy" was published by Momentum Books, illustrated by Shaughn Gawthrop and designed by Annamaria Sala. "Be Happy" will be available for sale at select bookstores and on, retailing at $14.95.


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