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This ground breaking project dares to take a raw look at care-giving, depression, disability, and death with realistic hope.
This ground breaking project dares to take a raw look at care-giving, depression, disability, and death with realistic hope.
This ground breaking project dares to take a raw look at care-giving, depression, disability, and death with realistic hope.
50 backers pledged $2,427 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$2,427

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The Truth is Horrific and Beautiful.

If you’ve ever lost hope, felt desperate and out of control, this book was written for you. 

This is the book I wanted 15 years ago after my daughter was born. I desperately wanted honest information about caring for someone who was not going to get better. I didn’t know that a hidden world of disability existed at the margins of society. 

If you live long enough, you or someone you care about will become disabled. In other words, there is a high likelihood that this story will become your story. Disability is the largest and fastest growing demographic in America. And research shows that people like me, people who've cared for a person with significant disabilities, age at 6 times the normal rate due to the extreme stress. This experience can destroy people, cost jobs, and drain whole families. 

I have to tell this story honestly, painfully, and without uplifting platitudes.  

page 1
page 1

About the Story:

Meditative, humorous, and raw, And Yet We Rise, dares to dive into the hidden world of parenting a significantly disabled, medically fragile child. This graphic novel explores the beauty and heartbreak with frankness and humanity. Honest information is rare. This book tackles the hard questions: 

How do you care for someone year after year who won’t get better? 

How do you deal with the conflicting emotions of grief and relief? 

How do you rise each day when you know it will be worse than the day before?

Love it or hate it, you will have an opinion about this ground-breaking graphic novel. 

The drawings are stunningly intense in their simplicity and ability to convey complex emotions. The art is intentionally "low-fi," direct, barely edited, just one step up from the sketch in gripping black and white. The work feels like you are getting a peek into the artist's private sketch book.

page from "And Yet We Rise"
page from "And Yet We Rise"

 History behind And Yet We Rise

My oldest daughter, Savannah, died a few weeks short of her 16th birthday. Her passing was sudden and unexpected, though we knew this day would come eventually. We knew we would not out-live her because of her medical issues. At the urging of friends, I had written a memoir about our challenging life. In fact, one of the chapters won an award as a stand-alone piece. However, the story did not capture the essence of Savannah. How do you write dialog with someone who doesn’t speak? How do you write action for someone who can barely control her head movements... who does most of her talking with smiles, cries, and subtle eye movement? 

Despondant, I set the manuscript aside. 

On the day of her passing, her younger sister wrote me a touching letter. “It's hard to think that I will never see my sister again. And I know it even harder for you…” she wrote. This graphic novel is essentially a love letter to her about her sister. I realized that the only way to tell this story was with images, as well as words. I left my job as the head of a division at Austin Community College to take a job managing a single project, so I would have time to write and draw the graphic novel. 

My plan is to publish by April 1, 2017, Savannah’s eighteenth birthday. 

page from "And Yet We Rise"
page from "And Yet We Rise"

Praise from advanced readers:  

"This story is universal. Not just about disability, but about care-giving when someone you love is not going to get better, such as a dying parent." Kathy Dowdy  

"If I had one word to describe this book, it would be HOPE." Janelle Blank

"This book is the perfect insight that not all special needs children are the same... You give your audience the 'real deal' when it comes to life and everyday issues." Zac  

"What a powerful, moving story. Thank you for this loving gift." Linda Welsh  

"The author shares his journey through an authentic, raw depiction of his life as a devoted father, husband, and caregiver." Angie Mills  

"I became completely engrossed with each sitting... I found myself thinking about Savannah's story during the days, and even though it was painful to read, I looked forward to it every night. Thank you for being brave enough to share Savannah's story." Kim Goss

page from "And Yet We Rise"
page from "And Yet We Rise"

What Will Funds be Used For?

I'm raising $1000 to pay for publication, distribution, and warehousing costs for the book. About $120 goes to pay for fees associated with the Kickstarter campaign. In addition, I wish to share my experience of transformation "The Year of the Phoenix" as a correspondence course. I estimate that initial printing fees for those materials will cost about $200. See below for how money will be used if Stretch Goals are met.

"And Yet We Rise" book cover: The Phoenix Rising
"And Yet We Rise" book cover: The Phoenix Rising

Stretch Goals:

$2000: Pay for web hosting and website development for 1 year. The website supports the promotion of the book.

If the $2000 stretch goal is met, all backers will receive a BONUS chapter (EXCLUSIVE TO Kickstarter)

$5 Backers: PDF of the bonus chapter

Backers up to $74 receive a black and white, printed bonus chapter.

Backers at the $75+ level receive and HAND-COLORED printed bonus chapter.

$3000: Buy an Artist Alley booth at Austin Comic Con and supply the booth with graphic novels. Pay for web hosting and development for 1 year.

$5000: Send a Free copy of the Graphic Novel to hospital chaplains across the country to use with people struggling to care for a disabled or dying loved one. Buy an Artist Alley booth at Austin Comic Con and supply the booth with graphic novels. Pay for web hosting and development for 1 year.

Phoenix Rising Sticker (3" x 3")
Phoenix Rising Sticker (3" x 3")

Please share this Kickstarter with anyone who might be interested. Your willingness to spread the word about this project with friends and family, is invaluable. The more people you tell, the more likely this project will get funded.

"Phoenix" print (8" x 10") $75 reward
"Phoenix" print (8" x 10") $75 reward

Thank you for your support. Without you, I wouldn't have gotten this far

Risks and challenges

The manuscript and images are complete. I have already chosen the printer. This Kickstarter campaign is about raising funds for printing, warehousing, and distributing. This is not my first time to publish a book, so I feel confident in the timelines, costs, and processes.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    PDF (Pretty Darn Fantastic)

    PDF copy of the book emailed to you. Thank you for being Pretty Darn Fantastic

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    Paper Back Book

    Receive a copy of the book (paper back). Thank you.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Give One, Get One

    Receive 2 copies of the book (paper back): one for you and one that you can give to a friend. Plus 4 Phoenix Stickers.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Art Patron

    Receive a signed, limited edition print (8 x 10) of the Phoenix. Each print is hand-pulled and water colored making it a unique work of art. Plus, receive 2 copies of the book (paper back): one for you and one that you can give to a friend. Plus 4 Phoenix Stickers.

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    The Phoenix Rising

    A one-year subscription to personal correspondence course “Year of the Phoenix” in which David will help you achieve your own transformative goals (a $1000 value). Email David directly for details and questions. Receive a signed, limited edition, hand-pulled print (8 x 10) of the Phoenix, Two copies of the book (paper back): one for you and one that you can give to a friend, and 4 Phoenix Stickers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)