The “Big Apple” welcomed an inspirational group of students and their teacher, Tracy Hughes, from St Patrick’s College Dungannon recently, as the group known as Enlighten Hope met with a representative of Harper Collins Publishers and visited the renowned Bank Street Bookstore on West 107th Street.
The Enlighten Hope idea was generated by the experience of Tracy’s seven-year-old niece Eva Tomney’s brave battle with cancer, after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2012.
As Head of Department of Business Studies, Tracy presented her students with the opportunity to participate in the Young Enterprise Business Programme where they would create a product and launch it onto the market.
So impressed were her students by the real life story of Eva and the family, that they asked Mrs Hughes if they could take Eva’s life story and present it in book format as an inspirational, joyful and hopeful resource for children and families who find themselves dealing with the life threatening illness.
Indeed, the eight students that form Enlighten Hope were motivated by Eva’s story to the extent that they illustrated and published not just one, but three adventure stories.
The books are a superb tribute to Eva’s life story and are an important resource for children and families who find themselves facing the challenges associated with this illness.
Tragically, little Eva, Enlighten Hope’s real life hero, lost her battle for life in November 2015, just before she was to become the first recipient of the collection of stories so wonderfully written in her honour.
During their trip to Manhattan, members of the Enlighten Hope team met with Co Tyrone native Brona McCallion, who works for the publishing giant Harper Collins, for some useful advice on promotion and distribution throughout the highly competitive North American book market.