Ruby is 6. She's an amazing little girl. She's funny, a karaoke queen and has a love (or mild obsession) for all things Unicorn. Unfortunately, she also has stage IV alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma. She was diagnosed with the disease when she was just 4 years old.
Throughout multiple rounds of chemotherapy and numerous setbacks, Ruby has shown a remarkable level of bravery. Her spirit is an inspiration to everyone she meets. And if you have been lucky enough to meet her, you will be familiar with her beautiful and unforgettable smile.
Kev Anderson's son Jamie goes to the same school as Ruby, so he was well aware of Ruby's story. He was also aware of Ruby's Unicorn obsession. Kev's a copywriter and decided to write a simple poem based story about 'The Unicorn with the ruby horn'. A short story about a Unicorn that's different from her classmates.
The idea was to create a picture book that would be sold to raise funds for the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG). Ruby's family and friends have already done an incredible job raising funds for the charity through Super Ruby's Rhabdo Raiser, a Special Named Fund at CCLG.
Of course, a picture book needs, well... pictures. Kev is officially the worst illustrator on the planet. He needed help. He needed a miracle. He desperately needed an illustrator who would give their time and talent for nothing.
Social media gets a bad press, but sometimes it makes magical things happen. Kev put out the call on Facebook and within just an HOUR, the incredibly talented and generous Eileen McGinley raised her virtual hand and volunteered to team up with Kev to bring the story to life.
That same evening, she created the first prototype sketch of Ruby the Unicorn. Suddenly the project felt very real. Eileen has been working on the interior pages and the cover recently and it's full steam ahead to get the book ready to go to the printers.
Here's one of Eileen's early sketches.
The book will be between 16 and 24 pages in length. It will be full colour and will be 10 inches by 10 inches. We've done our research and these square style books are very popular. We're looking to create a book that is comparable in quality to the picture books that you'll come across in the shops.
The story is poem based and covers the themes of being different, friendship and overcoming our own fears. It's suitable for all ages.
CCLG are a leading children’s cancer charity and the UK and Ireland’s professional association for those involved in the treatment and care of children with cancer.
CCLG is the only organisation which brings together all professionals working within childhood cancer to share expertise and knowledge to improve treatments and patient care. Their ultimate aim is to cure as many children as possible while reducing the side effects of treatment.
Ruby has a CCLG named fund 'The Super Ruby's Rhabdo Raiser'. You can find out more about it by clicking here.
We want to use this book to do three things.
- Raise awareness for CCLG
- Raise funds for CCLG
- Raise a smile from Ruby
We're taking the Crowdfunding route to give this project the start it needs. It's the quickest way to raise the funds that will bring the book to life. But, this just the start. There might be opportunities to get this published the more traditional route that would help get this distributed to a wider bookshop network. At some stage in the future, we'll look to sell it online via Amazon, so that we can reach an even wider audience.
But - none of this can happen without this, because we will need to get the first run of books printed ourselves. The traditional publishing process would take too long to bring the book into the world. And, by supporting this campaign more of the cover price of the book will get to the charity than any other publishing route.
In short, if you can buy it from here - you'll make the biggest difference.
The book is being illustrated now and we're trying to source the best possible deal with a book printer. The goal is to have the book available for the first week in December. Naturally, this will be determined by the lead time of the printer we go with. if we can get it out there earlier, without compromising on the quality, we'll do so.
If you can make a pledge, it would be absolutely incredible. But even if you can't afford to buy the book, you can help us spread the word, far and wide. Here are some ideas -
- Share the link to this page on your social media platforms.
- Ask your friends and family to do the same!
- Like and follow the journey on our Facebook Page.
- Work for an organisation with a big social following... ask if you can share there.
- Have any celeb buddies that could share to their huge audience?
- Can you help us distribute the book locally?
- Do you run a shop that would like to sell some copies for us?
- Have you got an idea for a different type of pledge that we haven't thought of?
If you can help or have a great idea then please contact Kev by email - [email protected]