Children might soon be reading what Trisha Wesse produced during her senior project.
The Lakeside High School senior has written a children's book called Madison's Dream. It's about a little girl who wants to swim in the ocean but doesn't know how to swim. She enrolls in swimming classes and soon gains the skills and the confidence to finally swim in the ocean. The moral of the story: follow your dreams.
It's a message Wesse hopes will be meaningful to the children at the Medical College of Georgia's Children's Medical Center where she toured during the research phase of her project.
"I learned about what a family goes through when they find out their child is diagnosed with cancer," 18-year-old Wesse said.
Ashley Poteet, a certified child life specialist with the hematology/ oncology unit at the Children's Medical Center, served as her guide.
"She's like a cheerleader," Wesse said. "She gave me a tour of the whole facility and what she does. She's the one that made me so excited about these kids."
Lakeside senior Trisha Wesse wrote a children's book for her senior project. The book was illustrated by her classmate Jason Williams.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
While she wasn't able to work directly with patients because of confidentiality concerns, Wesse was able to talk to some children who were cancer survivors.
"It's something I'll look forward to using," Poteet said.
In the back of her book are pictures drawn by patients at the hospital. Wesse is now trying to raise money to print additional copies of her book to give to the patients there.
"I wanted to get it out there so kids can read it and get excited and say, 'I can do that, too,"' Wesse said. "I want them to know that they can do whatever they want to do."
Wesse, who lives in Martinez resident, is the daughter of Harry Wesse and Tami Wesse.
"After I was finished, I was so excited. I said, 'Mom, I wrote a book.' It was such a huge accomplishment," Wesse said. "I love kids. Now I can baby-sit and read my own book to them."
She hired classmate Jason Williams to illustrate the book. While a local printing company, American International Printing & Marketing, printed the 25-page, hard-cover book for her, she hopes to one day get it published.
"I've always wanted to write something to give children where they could learn from it," Wesse said.
When she graduates, Wesse plans to attend college and major in international business, "something where I can travel."
The A-student said she would also like to study in Spain to become more fluent in the language. She is president of Lakeside High's Spanish Club, has taken Spanish for the past four years and is in the Spanish Honor Society.
She is also co-president of the Lakeside Support Coalition, a student booster club, and Health Occupation Students of America.
In many ways, she said, Madison's Dream is a mirror of her life at the moment.
"It's a book about following your dreams," she said. "That's what my whole year has been based on - following dreams."
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