Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

JDRF to benefit from sale of Echo of a Raven

JDRF to benefit from sale of Echo of a Raven

With America in the lead at 20.8 million, there are more than 230 million diabetics in the world and the number is rapidly increasing. More than half of these diabetics will develop some stage of retinopathy during his or her lifetime. This condition causes fragile blood vessels to grow and rupture in the back of the eye and can lead to progressive blindness.

I began hearing the frightening phrase diabetic retinopathy at the age of six when I was diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic. During a routine visit to Children’s Hospital when I was twelve, a doctor predicted I would be blind by time I was twenty-five. His harsh words echoed in my head to the point of obsession, affecting every major decision I made for years to come. But even though these words haunted my subconscious, I never spoke them aloud. Then they might come true. The closer I got to twenty-five, the tighter the noose around my neck, sucking the life out of me like a garrotte. I worked as a legal secretary at the Court of Common Pleas where I prepared cases for judges in Family Court. But painting was my passion. I spent my weekends painting picturesque scenery, the ruins of ancient Rome and reflections on the water. Through my artwork, I escaped to a place of peace and tranquility. No more heartache. No more pain. But one day while painting a Tuscan landscape, I had the first bout of blindness. And for the next two decades, my vision came and went. Now you see it—now you don’t. And after a rocky road, nine years ago, I lost the battle, losing all hope and my will to live.

But through an organization for the blind and visually impaired, I found the courage to face a sighted world I was once part of. Some of the curriculum I endured for eight grueling hours every day for sixteen weeks was mobility training with a white cane, group therapy to deal with anger issues and the use of a computer with adaptive software. It was a heart-wrenching journey filled with endless challenge. Part of the reason I was reluctant to enroll in a program for the blind and visually impaired was because I thought clients would be uneducated. I was a professional, after all. What could I possibly have in common with “Those people?”

I was wrong. I met doctors and nurses, teachers and engineers, all with one common thread. We were all facing vision loss due to circumstances beyond our control. Some had the extra burden of facing a marital problem because a spouse could not or would not accept the blindness. We laughed and we cried. We connected in a way words could never express. I was one of the lucky ones. What didn’t kill me made me stronger. And after a long and winding road, a new dream resurrected. Today, instead of painting my pictures on canvas, I paint my pictures with words.

Echo of a Raven is a must read for diabetics, those facing a vision loss and for intelligent people who want to put an end to this world-wide epidemic. In my memoir, I give a prolific account of my stay at Pittsburgh Vision told from an insider’s point of view when institutionalized for sixteen weeks. Echo of a Raven is not for the weak at heart. But through my darkest hour, I found light at the end of a tunnel. Only when I reached out and asked for help did doors open. And doors have continued to open for me. There is a plethora of opportunity for the blind and visually impaired. In my memoir, I give the names and addresses and websites for several organizations that have been invaluable to me. Please help me in my mission to find a cure for diabetes and its number one complication—blindness. If I can prevent one child from living in fear of losing his or her vision, Echo of a Raven will be a smashing success.

A portion of all proceeds of Echo of a Raven will be donated to JDRF Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation fight for a cure. I thank you for supporting my charity.

Sharon Donovan
Echo of a Raven
Available in paperback and eBook


Hywela Lyn said...

Congratulations Sharon, both on your latest release and your courage and positivity.

I hope you'll sell loads of copies and raise a good sum for this wondeful charity - and raise people's awareness of the consequences diabetes can have.

You are truly an inspiration, my friend.

Sharon Donovan said...

Thank you Lyn. Yes I would love to raise awareness and am currently working with my local chapter of JDRF to get the word out about my book. As always, thank you for your support and encouragement. And thank you for buying a copy of Echo of a Raven. You are a dear friend, one I would not have had the pleasure of meeting if not for the opportunity I was given through Pittsburgh Vision where I was taught to use adaptive software. Here here for modern technology!!


P.L. Parker said...

How strong you must be! I applaud your courage and fortitude. Would that more of us had it. Many sales to you.

P. L. Parker

Autumn Jordon said...

Sharon, Your post was inspiring. Diabetes is a thorn for my family also. I wish you many sales. Thank you for helping with the cause to wipe this disease out.

Autumn Jordon
2009 Golden Heart Finalist

Laurean Brooks said...


I admire what you are doing to help fight this debilitating disease. Everything you right is inspiring and soul-searching.

I want an autographed print copy. Email me your address and I will send you a check.

Can't wait to show it around!

Love ya,

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Patsy. Thank you so very much for your support and encouraging words. Yes, I would love nothing better than to see this devastating disease be wiped out in the very near future. Thank you for dropping by.


Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Autumn. Thank you for dropping by and for your support and encouragement. So you know a bit about diabetes since it runs in your family. How many of us there are. They've done so much with preventing complications, but as far as finding a cure, we can only hope and pray. God bless your family members who are affected by diabetes. Here's for finding that cure!


Sharon Donovan said...

To my sweet friend, Laurie. Thank you so much for your inspiring words. I feel this is something God wants me to do, help raise awareness and funding to fight and cure this devastating disease. Thank you for wanting to help. And you got it, a signed copy of Echo of a Raven. You are a dear friend and one I am proud to have.


Jane Richardson, writer said...

I would love to hug you, Sharon. I have bought your book, and thank you so much for supporting JDRF. My 11 year-old son is also Type 1 diabetic, and I know JDRF are working so very hard to find a cure for this condition. All the proceeds from my own novel A Different Kind of Honesty published by The Wild Rose Press also go to JDRF. I wish you all the love and luck in the world for the future, Sharon. :)

Jane x

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Jane. Thank you so much for buying Echo. I appreciate it and know how near and dear this charity is to your heart. God bless your son! With you doing so much to help the campaign to find a cure, he is in good hands. I will certainly buy your book, too. Thank you so much for your encouragement. Here's hoping the cure is right around the corner!


Julie Robinson said...

Well, I can see I've been missing out on all your good news, Sharon, what with me galavanting all over Texas. Congratulations on the release of Echo of a Raven. I've been waiting to get it, so I just ordered it.. Maybe one day we'll get to meet and You can sign it for me then.

Thanks for introducing me to the LuLu site. I had no idea it was there! Good luck with your current WIP.
Hugs to you,

Sharon Donovan said...

Hi Julie and welcome back! Hope you had a great time in Texas! Thank you so very much for buying Echo of a Raven and for supporting JDRF. I appreciate it so very much and would love to meet one day.