Daily Journal staff report
Proceeds from “Come with Me,” the fourth children’s book by Tracy Ahrens, of Momence, benefits the Kate Amato Foundation based in Florida. The foundation’s mission is to find safer, smarter and more effective treatments for children with cancer.
Ahrens, herself a cancer survivor, learned of Amato’s cancer battle through social media. At the time, Ahrens was fighting breast cancer. Amato passed away from cancer in November 2016 at age 11 from Stage 4 alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, an aggressive soft tissue cancer that attacks skeletal muscles.
Ahrens discovered when she was a child, many of her interests were similar to Kate’s. It inspired her to write “Come with Me,” which was published in March, according to a news release from the author.
In “Come with Me,” Kate finds herself in a dream, walking through a secret door in her closet and into the outdoors. With four steps and her arms outstretched, Kate takes flight, soaring with white doves, riding silky swans, weaving through the branches of trees and catching pink flower petals floating in the wind.
She is wrapped in lullaby breezes under the moon and stars and is carried higher in cloud mittens before waking in her bed.
Ahrens also produced the art for the book.
When Ahrens uncovered the story, she realized the character was similar to Kate in many ways, including her love of music, adventure, animals and smiling. She named the main character after Kate and concluded this book’s purpose is to assist the Kate Amato Foundation.
“‘Come with Me’ beautifully captures Kate’s kind, caring and adventurous spirit,” said Lisa Amato, Kate’s mother, in the release. “I can see her sweet face smiling with delight as she guides little minds on a fanciful flight.”