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Read how the Special Needs rollercoaster took the Belnap family for a ride that was harrowing and hilarious, joyful and tragic.
177 backers pledged AU$ 12,073 to help bring this project to life.

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AU$ 12,073

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A wonderful read, a worthy project: 

Help us print 'Down to the Sea'! 

Do you love reading true stories? Do you just love a great saga that takes you to every extreme of your emotions?

Young Ty on Kai Manu
Young Ty on Kai Manu

Are you interested in adventure? 

Sailing? 

Travel to foreign lands? 

A better style of education? 

Finding the ability of a person with a disability? 

This biography of Mike Belnap's family, written by Mike and Kickstarter regular Candy Lawrence, has something for everyone.

Heartbreak at the discovery that a much-awaited first child has Down syndrome. 

From Chapter 1
From Chapter 1

 

Telling your friends and family is hard...
Telling your friends and family is hard...


Inspiration as the family finds groundbreaking ways to deal with Ty's deficits and ensure he's included in the mainstream, then hit the wall - and find a way out of that as well.

From Chapter 2
From Chapter 2

 

Ty with his mum Nancy aboard their 'escape clause'
Ty with his mum Nancy aboard their 'escape clause'

 Fear and anger as a life-threatening scandal unfolds around the family.

From Chapter 4
From Chapter 4

 

What could threaten the safety of this whole family?
What could threaten the safety of this whole family?

Adventure as the family sets sail away from their troubles and learns to live very much 'back to basics' within a new culture on a Pacific island. 

From Chapter 7
From Chapter 7

 

Sail away, sail away, sail away...
Sail away, sail away, sail away...

Surprise and joy as they come home and discover Ty's unsuspected capabilities, leading him to world renown. 

From Chapter 9
From Chapter 9

 

Ty the champion
Ty the champion


And shock as the scandal finally comes home to roost, and Ty must face the prospect of life without his parents.

From Chapter 13
From Chapter 13

 

No Nancy, and Mike in a wheelchair...
No Nancy, and Mike in a wheelchair...

How does it end? You'll have to read the book to find out - but YOU can influence the long-term ending of this story by supporting our Kickstarter.

If it's such a great book ...

... why are we crowdfunding the printing instead of going through a regular publisher? 

The driving force behind this biography is Ty's dad, Mike Belnap. Ty's mum was taken in 2011, and Mike has terminal cancer. It's the greatest fear of every parent of a disabled child - what will happen to their child once they're dead?

Do you know how long it takes to get a book out via the regular publishing channels? 

The answer is 'too long'. Too long for Mike. We don't know exactly how much time Mike's got left - he's rewritten the medical books already through sheer strength of will - but we really want this story to get out there before he crosses the finish line. 

Apart from anything else, Ty needs the funds from selling the book to support his 'assisted living' bills once he's on his own - because he is, according to the Powers That Be, TOO ABLE to warrant governmental financial assistance.

(Yeah, we know. What?!)

When you have a disability like Down syndrome, you're always going to need help, no matter how many amazing things you've achieved in your life (and Ty has achieved so much!). The NDIS isn't going to rescue him, so we're counting on this book to help support him financially.

About writing the book

'Down to the Sea' has been compiled and written by Candy Lawrence (you can see her previous successful Kickstarter writing projects here and here), based on copious notes provided to her by Mike Belnap and with input from other members of the family. Candy's writing and publishing experience coupled with the entertaining, touching and inspiring 'plot' provided by Mike and his family have come together to create a real page-turner which is both eminently readable and polished to a professional standard.

We hope you enjoy reading the book as much as we enjoyed writing it! 

 

Risks and challenges

We already have the whole book written, so it's very close to completion - it's in its 5th edit right now. So there's no chance the book won't get finished.

We already have a printer lined up and know roughly how much it'll cost to print it - so you can be guaranteed of a great quality book. (We use WHO Printing in Newcastle, AU. They rock.)

We already have experience in the delivery process, so we've been conservative with our promises as things can always go awry there! (Let us tell you about the time Australia Post delivered dozens of books to the RETURN address, having stamped the parcels on the wrong side...)

What else could possibly go wrong?

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1 or more About $0.71

    Your name immortalised on our website!

    Your name will appear on our supporters' list on the MonkeyRead.me website.

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    Your name in a book and on the internet!

    Your name will be printed inside the cover of 'Down to the Sea' and will also appear on our supporters' list on the MonkeyRead.me website.

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    Pledge AU$ 35 or more About $25

    Your own copy of Down to the Sea!

    You'll get your own copy of 'Down to the Sea' with your name printed inside the cover. Your name will also appear on our supporters' list on the MonkeyRead.me website.

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    Pledge AU$ 70 or more About $50

    An autographed copy of Down to the Sea!

    You'll get your own copy of 'Down to the Sea', autographed by the authors, with your name printed inside the cover. Your name will also appear on our supporters' list on the MonkeyRead.me website.

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    Pledge AU$ 100 or more About $71

    Two autographed copies!

    You'll get two copies of 'Down to the Sea', autographed by the authors, with your name printed inside the cover. Your name will also appear on our supporters' list on the MonkeyRead.me website.

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Funding period

- (60 days)