Saturday, October 17, 2015

October 17 - Dear Nicholas Sparks

Dear Mr. Sparks,

Yesterday we posted a press release to help raise more CDH Awareness:

RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 16. 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- After 10 months of writing letters to Nicholas Sparks, CHERUBS - The Association of Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Research, Awareness and Support, turns to the author seeking his help. They want him to feature congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) in one of his upcoming novels.

CDH occurs in approximately 1 in every 2,500 births (1,600 cases in the U.S. each year) and has a 50% mortality rate. The cause of CDH is not yet known. CDH occurs when the diaphragm fails to form or to close totally and an opening allows abdominal organs into the chest cavity.

"Our CDH stories have heartache and sorrow, joy and hope, life and passing," says president and founder Dawn Williamson. "We have the perfect opportunity to increase CDH awareness and a guaranteed following of Mr. Sparks to insure the novel's success."

Only one thing is missing. Mr. Nicholas Sparks, who is touring with his new romantic-thriller, "See Me," needs to agree to include CDH in a book. So far, there is no indication whether or not Mr. Sparks will accept the challenge.

"We have all the source material he would need," says the CHERUBS office manager Jason Miller. "There are literally thousands of both survivor and non-survivor stories from which Sparks can glean."

Williamson extends an invitation to Sparks for the upcoming CHERUBS Masquerading Angels Ball at TPC Wakefield Plantation in North Raleigh. "A masquerade ball, singles mingling, pretty dresses- this has everything the top romance writer needs to fuel a story," smiles Williamson, who happens to be single herself.  "Mr. Sparks is a very handsome man.  The dashing writer arriving at the masquerade ball to be the date of the charity leader who wrote to him daily seeking his help in memory of her son and to help other children would make a very romantic storyline, wouldn't it?" teased Williamson.

Williamson has had the opportunity to meet Sparks twice so far, including at an event in Chapel Hill this week.  "I was able to talk to him about including CDH in one of his future books.  He didn't say yes.  But he didn't say no.  I know he has a good heart for children because he has his own foundation.  Many of his characters do die in his novels so it's not far-fetched to ask him to make the cause of death CDH to help us help these children.  More awareness equals more research funding for these babies.  They need his voice."

"The only mission at CHERUBS is to help families affected by CDH by searching for the cause, prevention and best treatments of Congenital Diaphragmatic through research and awareness while supporting the CDH community.  We focus on the whole CDH community, not personal missions," says Miller.

It reached over 6500 newspapers, stations and web sites in just 2 days.  Isn't that incredible?   Yet, people are not reaching out to us to learn more.  The phone isn't ringing off the hook with reporters wanting to learn about CDH.  

Awareness is being raised.  But our voice isn't loud enough.  We need you.

Dawn M. Torrence Williamson
CHERUBS President

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