Mother writes book inspired by son’s cancer journey
June 27, 2017
One child's fight with brain cancer brought inspiration to his mother, and is soon to bring hope to many others.
Grayson Chapeau was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a four year old. He endured pain, trials and victories throughout his journey, but his parents were by his side through it all. Jeremiah and Chelsey Chapeau, of Spearfish, watched their son undergo brain surgery, chemotherapy and radiation to treat the tumor. Chelsey said, "Seeing how much is asked of children as they undergo medical treatment is staggering and watching my son handle all of the tests, pokes and prods with unbelievable patience, grace and joy was amazing."
See Tri-State Livestock News' 2016 stories about Grayson and the Children's Western Wish Foundation and his pop top collections.
During this difficult time, Chelsey tried to find children's books that might help motivate Grayson through the struggles he faced. Finding none, she decided to write her own.
“Seeing how much is asked of children as they undergo medical treatment is staggering and watching my son handle all of the tests, pokes and prods with unbelievable patience, grace and joy was amazing.” Chelsey Chapeau, author of “You Are Brave”
You Are Brave is a 26 page book meant to uplift children with a heartbreaking diagnosis, or undergoing any sort of medical treatment. This book delivers a simple but sincere message that can even encourage older children and adults, right alongside the younger children," Chelsey said. One excerpt of the book reads, "You are special, no matter the diagnosis. You are strong, even if you need help."
"We have already had some people donate funds so that we can give copies of this book away to children who are currently undergoing medical treatment. The donated books will be hand-delivered to a child undergoing medical treatment at children's hospitals or Ronald McDonald Houses or to someone we meet who is on a medical journey," said Chelsey.
Grayson provided his mother with inspiration throughout the writing process. He also enjoyed reading her rough drafts, and his favorite part of the book reads, "You are a superhero when you do your best." Another feature that Grayson enjoys is the hidden, illustrated bubble on each page. The bubbles, along with the illustration on the cover of the book, are a tribute to Grayson's friend, Kamryn Schumacher, who died on May 2, 2017 at the age of two. She also suffered from a cancerous brain tumor.
Jacqueline Kriebel, of Spearfish, illustrated the book.
The book will be released around July 6 but can be purchased and even prepurchased here: https://squareup.com/store/you-are-brave-book/item/you-are-brave-pre-order
Grayson is now seven years old, and enjoys his school and summers. He keeps busy by gather and then donating pop tabs to the Ronald McDonald House in Minneapolis. Grayson donated 433 pounds of pop tabs last year to help care for other families whose children are receiving medical treatment. His goal is to donate 500 pounds of pop tabs (also soup can pull tabs, veggie and fruit can tabs, energy drink tabs, beer tabs, tennis ball container pull tabs, etc) by early 2018.
We want to help Grayson reach his goal, and we know our readers will help us again this year. Last year our readers collected tabs at summer events including rodeos, fairs, and more. Drop off tabs or mail them to at the Tri-State Livestock News office at 1501 5th Ave, Belle Fourche, SD 57717.