‘Following my sudden (and shock) diagnosis of stage 3 brain cancer in 2016 after a random seizure, I was recovering in bed in the Alfred Hospital, wondering how my death would have been explained to my two children should I not have been fortunate enough to wake up. I quickly researched what resources were available, and couldn’t find anything that my young children could comprehend.’ We hear from Scott Bennett, author of ‘My Daddy’s Important New Job’.
‘Following the diagnosis and treatment plans, I set about writing them a book that explains death in a non-confrontational manner, that is easy to understand from a 2 and 4 year old’s perspective and that they could look for their loved ones in everyday occurrences.
‘I sought out an illustrator via 99 designs, and over the course of three months had the illustrations completed in Barcelona and my one copy was self-published by an online book publishing company.
‘My wife suggested I put it out there for crowd funding and see if there is a market for it, to not only help other children and families in these situations where their father has passed away, but also to raise much needed funding for brain cancer (one of the lowest funded cancers, but also one of the highest mortality rates).
‘The book was funded within 24 hours and we had 1,000 copies printed with over 500 pre-orders through the crowdfunding site.
‘Fast forward to now. We’ve sold over 800 copies, raised over $15,000 for brain cancer charities such as Peace of Mind Foundation here in Geelong, The Andrew Love Cancer Centre, Carrie’s Beanies 4 Brain Cancer, and Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.
‘The book was only ever meant to be one copy for my two kids. It has now become a source of support for other children who have lost a loved one. It has been distributed across the country and internationally into the US, UK, and New Zealand.
‘We are now aiming to get it into schools across the country to provide a resource for younger children who can understand that when a loved one has passed on, that they have a very important job to do, to make the sun rise, the clouds fluffy, the flowers grow and other everyday natural phenomena that they can identify and feel close to their loved one.
‘It’s also not only been an important fundraising platform, but therapy for me as I undergo monthly chemotherapy, which came to an end this August.
‘The book can still be purchased through the site: www.mydaddysimportantnewjob.com
‘My message to any aspiring authors in Geelong is if you’ve got a story to tell and a burning passion to publish your own book, there’s nothing stopping you from self-publishing and getting it out there.’
Written by Jacqui Bennett, Photo by Phil Hines Photography. Copies of Scott’s book will be available for sale at the #humansingeelongexpo Sun 8th of Oct 10 – 3pm Deakin University Waterfront.