More than one hundred friends, loved ones, and neighbors celebrated the release of Cards for Brianna: A Mom’s Messages of Living, Laughing, and Loving as Time Is Running Out at A Room of One’s Own in Madison, Wisconsin.
(Jeff and Brianna McManamy)
Heather McManamy, a Wisconsin mom diagnosed with terminal breast cancer, wrote the book for her young daughter as an extension of the dozens of greeting cards she had written for all of the future milestones and moments she would miss. Heather died on December 15, 2015 just one day after she turned in the manuscript. Heather’s story resonated with many people. When her husband, Jeff, posted this on her Facebook page in December 2015, over 100,000 people reacted to it, sharing their own love, tears, and support.
Jeff and their daughter, Brianna, signed copies of the book for everyone who came out to remember Heather with laughs, tears, and hugs.
In a post on Heather’s Facebook page, Jeff wrote:
“I have been asked a lot this week what this book means to me and should mean to others. I finally realized today exactly what this book is. It's a guide that Heather left us. A guide to teach us how to live more, laugh harder and love without boundaries, even when faced with the harshest realities. I don't post about Cards for Brianna to sell more books, I post about it in hopes that it touches more lives and maybe even changes a couple along the way.”
(Editor Anna Michels, Jeff McManamy, coauthor William Croyle, and Brianna McManamy)
Heather’s coauthor, William Croyle, attended the signing and said of his experience in working with Heather in the last week of her life:
“I think Heather initially saw Cards for Brianna as simply something fun to do, but the more we got into it, the more she was able to understand what an awesome impact it could have on the world. Everything glorious about her—the love, energy, compassion, honesty, resiliency, humor, humbleness—shines through this book.”
Heather shared her enthusiasm about the book on Facebook in December. ”Seriously, thank you to everyone who convinced me that this was one of those YOLO! opportunities I simply had to go for. The timing couldn’t have been crazier, but talk about an amazing alignment of the stars to have something so positive and fun to focus on.”
A portion of the proceeds from print book sales of Cards for Brianna in the first month of publication will benefit METAvivor, a non-profit, volunteer-run organization that funds research for metastatic cancer.