On April 18, 2020 Deana Wilson greeted a large online gathering of guests. “I want to thank everyone for coming to join this Zoom live today!” The event in question, originally intended to be an in-person gathering, was a book launch for “Liam, Strong as a Tree.” The book celebrates the strength of her son Liam, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at just three weeks old.

Present at the virtual event were friends, family, town councillors and community supporters.

Local magician Tyler Fergus welcomed attendees and shared a message from Mayor Gordon Krantz, along with a list of supporters and sponsors. Fergus first learned about Deana and Liam when they were featured in the newspaper years ago. He knew he wanted to support the family, and a magic show in support of CF research was scheduled for May 2020, but unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last year, Liam began school, a feat that Deana describes as being something she was originally uncertain about. It’s clear however, that her son has been provided with an incredible support system at Sam Sherratt school. His teachers, EA, and school principal were all in attendance on Zoom, where they explained just how much Liam has been teaching them.

After walking guests through Liam’s daily routine, Deana described her mission: “We’ve been doing everything possible to raise awareness of Cystic Fibrosis.” That mission includes the release of a new book, “Liam, Strong as a Tree.” In May 2019, Deana and her Aunt, Leesa Ervin, approached Meghan Behse from Iguana Books about creating a children’s book about a boy who has CF. The children’s book, which is illustrated by Ervin, follows Liam as he heads off to kindergarten and a new world filled with fun and friendship, despite some of the challenges he faces.

While the online book launch was celebratory in nature, it also featured important guests like Emily Lyons of the Julia Lyons Foundation – an organization named after Emily’s sister who lived with Cystic Fibrosis. Lyons described the additional costs that those with CF must contend with, and a breakthrough medicine that is available in many countries, but not currently in Canada. The Foundation provides financial aid directly to those in the CF community who need it most.

Liam, Strong as a Tree is now available for purchase through various providers. Visit www.superheromom.ca for more information.

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