Local author recognized for children's book's impact

The story "My Dog Named Hope" about a little girl diagnosed with Leukemia has been recognized for its heartwarming message.

The little girl teams up with her pet to help young people battling a life-threatening illness.

The book's author Joe Dean said, "One of the first reviews of the book is that you took a serious subject and made it whimsical."

"My Dog Named Hope" just won a Silver Award from the 30th Annual Benjamin Franklin Award. The program recognizes excellence in independent books. Out of nearly 15 hundred entries, there were only 3 or 4 finalists.

The book was illustrated by Lauren Curwick a pediatric oncology student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. Curwick and Dean donated their time and talent for the book. 100 percent of the proceeds go to pediatric research and services for sick kids. 

"That never quit, selflessness, courage, faith, optimism,-- it makes it such an honor and so humbling to work with these families and do anything we can to try and expedite the day when we try and find a cure to pediatric cancer," Dean said.

Half of the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the MACC Fund, the other half to Designing Dreams. The MACC fund raises money for pediatric cancer and blood disorder research.

Designing Dreams is a local non-profit which gives kids with cancer a bedroom makeover. So far "My Dog Named Hope," has raised $50,000. The WE Energies Foundation underwrote the cost of producing the book.

"It's kind of a universal message --the dog's named Hope, Hope gets lost. We all have moments in our life where it feels like we're losing hope, then the family discovers hope," Dean said. 

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