Lifestyle

Chilliwack author hopes 'Bravery' inspires others

Kim Gemmell, seen here with her son Avery, is having a book launch and signing this Sunday for her book
Kim Gemmell, seen here with her son Avery, is having a book launch and signing this Sunday for her book 'Bravery' about the struggles she and her family went through after Avery was born with a life-threatening heart defect.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS

After her son, Avery, was born with a life-threatening heart defect resulting in countless hours spent at Children’s Hospital, one of the last things on Kim Gemmell’s mind was to write a book about it.

But nine years later, in 2008, she started to do just that.

“I had to write this book to explain why I have gratitude. The notion to write a book just never left me,” she said. “There were a lot of hurdles along the way but I just kept chugging along and never gave up.”

She and her husband, Cam, were dealing with a lot.

Avery was born with transposition of the great arteries, meaning his arteries were reversed in their origins from the heart. When Avery was one day old, he had his first surgery. By the time he was five months old, he had four surgeries.

In addition to coping with Avery’s heart condition, Gemmell’s father died one month after Avery was born and her daughter, Jesse, was diagnosed with autism.

People kept asking her how she was doing, and how she was able to handle living with so much upheaval.

“We may not have a choice with the cards in life we are dealt, but there is always a choice on how we play them,” she said.

“I always felt blessed because I got to bring Avery home. I made a promise to myself that if I could bring this little guy home, that I would be the happiest mother ever.”

And she is.

Her smile never leaves her face as she talks about her book ‘Bravery’. She is proud, she has a positive attitude, and she is in good spirits.

“If my book can pass some inspiration on to others then its well worth doing,” she said.

The book has only been out for a bit more than two weeks, but already it’s been a success.

She’s sold more than 50 copies alone, and she and Cam even got a message from Amazon stating that her book is “sold out”.

“It surprises me that, for one, I wrote a book, but also that it’s been so well received,” she said.

Gemmell is having an official book launch and signing this Sunday (Feb. 10) at Downtown Sutton Business Centre from 1-5 p.m., and she will be reading from her book at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Avery, now 14, will also be there signing the book.

Looks like the Gemmells will be celebrating B.C.’s new statutory holiday, Family Day, one day early.

Bravery can be purchased at PriceSmart Foods, or online at www.braverybook.com. The cost is $19.95 and part proceeds go to Children’s Hospital.

photo@theprogress.com
twitter.com/PhotoJennalism

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