January 21, 2016 at 4:12 p.m.
But, the story of how the book came to be also carries its own positive message of perseverance and faith.
A Wyoming-area writer Heidi Schauer, worked on the book for over two years and an artist friend from Lindstrom, Jessie deCorsey designed the cover for “A Seekers’ Harvest. A Life and Legacy with ALS”
The book release party is at Willowbrook Church on South Lake Street in Forest Lake, this weekend. The public is invited starting at 11 a.m. Saturday Jan 23.
Schauer explained that she met the subject of the book, Kevin Pollari, a few years ago while enmeshed in a charity event in honor of Schauer’s late father. She described herself then as a stay-at-home mother who was demonstrating to her children the importance of doing small things that impact others lives positively. They hosted a school supplies collection and food drive on the date of what would have been Schauer’s father’s 57th birthday.
Little did she realize she’d be meeting Pollari at the event and commit herself to making sure people would hear his tale.
They talked and he mentioned he was the fourth sibling in his family to contract amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and that he been given only months to live. But, he’d investigated alternative treatments, continued to live fully and overcome the odds-- and he metioned that friends always tell him he should write a book. Schauer was up to the challenge and offered to see where they could take this. “At first I thought we would just record some stories of his, I wasn’t exactly sure what it would look like...I thought there would be great value in recording not only what Kevin thought he’d done to slow the progression of ALS but also his life stories...in his own voice.”
The artwork for the book cover is by Jessie DeCorsey The two visited with Pollari about a year ago to get inspired as to his vision for the book cover. By early spring the art was done and his “glimpse of Heaven” as he’d described it for DeCorsey at their meeting a few months before, was perfect.
DeCorsey said in a publication press release, “...working with Kevin was an honor and after watching the book come to life over the past year I am thrilled to see it finished so that others can enjoy it as much as I have.”
There is a special guest invited to this Saturday’s Willowbrook Church deal.
Schauer mentioned when she was in third grade a teacher, Rosella Dambowy, told her she wanted a copy of the first book Schauer ever published. Ms. Dambowy will be there Saturday. Schauer said she “held onto (the fact that) in third grade this woman who did not have to say anything told me she believed I was capable of writing and publishing a book...I am so excited to hand her a copy.”
Pollari, who resides in Vadnais Heights, is well past marking his fouth year living with ALS. His story is how the diagnosis motivated him to climb a mountain, fix his house, visit extended family and friends and educate himself about doing battle with ALS.
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