It’s almost unimaginable to ponder the chaos that would ensue if your child were diagnosed with a terminal illness, or injured in an accident and rushed to hospital.
Have you any money to park the car, how can you get a message to school to sort out your other child, can anyone help with a lift-share to get your child to hospital for crucial treatment?
These are just a few of the headaches that Maggie Mickshik understands, all too well.
Her daughter Martha was diagnosed with a brain tumour before her first birthday, she endured many operations and spent a great deal of time in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
In 2006, Martha lost her brave battle to live aged seven, whereupon Maggie set up Martha Care, a charity dedicated to helping families who find themselves in the same boat.
Bobby, a Martha Care Support Worker, is now based in the BRHC providing support on countless issues and over the past 18 months, she has been a lifeline for almost 170 families.
365 Silly Jokes for Kids was created by Maggie’s friend, Lyme Regis author Tracey West as an urgent fundraiser to ensure Martha Care continues to provide the service which costs around £40k pa. If things go well, they hope to extend it to other hospitals.
Comedian and actor Ben Langley is proud patron of Martha Care and penned a wonderful foreword. He said, ‘Martha was incredible and she made me dizzy bombarding me with daft jokes. Thanks to anyone that supports the cause by buying the book and showing laughter is indeed a great medicine’.
The book contains hundreds of super-silly jokes, many of which you’ll recognise from your own childhood. It also has two secret messages hidden within and is wonderfully embellished with funky images drawn by Simon West, creator of Magic Oxygen Publishing in Lyme Regis.
Simon explained, ‘Martha loved jokes, this is a fitting celebration of her life, the things she adored and a great cause. Please let us know if you’d like to stock it’.
365 Silly Jokes for Kids is available to order from Amazon and all good book vendors and also from local libraries, see the stockists list below.
Paperback £6.99 : ISBN 978-1-910094-05-1
- Serendip Book Shop, Lyme Regis
- Tip Top Toys, Glastonbury
- Dicketts, Glastonbury
- Labyrinth books, Glastonbury
Review & Media:
An electronic extract from the book is available from Simon West at Magic Oxygen Publishing. High res images and interviews available from the author.
About the Author
Tracey West was born in London’s East End in 1966. She started writing articles in 1995 and broadcasting in 2002, predominantly on downshifting, environmental topics and sustainable living.
In 2003 she founded InterNational Downshifting Week, a campaign designed to help people ‘slow down and green up’ and became an extremely proud Trustee for the National Association for Children of Alcoholics in 2006.
In 2011, she was made Patron of WAND (Women’s Action Network Dorset) a group that helps countless women in crisis, strongly connected to the West Dorset women’s refuge.
Her authored works include, The Book of Rubbish Ideas, Poetry of Divorce: for women, Diary of Divorce: for women & men, 160 Divorce Coping Tips and Deadhead the Roses (due spring 2014). Her stance is pithy, earthy and essentially upbeat.
As Editor, she polished The Breathing Wheel, When Joe Met Alice and has other works in progress.
Recently, Tracey has stepped aside from her usual remit to pull together a fundraising book, 365 Silly Jokes for Kids, to raise urgent income for Martha Care, a tiny but powerful charity headed by her dear friend, Maggie Micshick.
It includes jokes that were beloved by Maggie’s daughter Martha, who sadly lost her life to a brain tumour at the tender age of 7 after a lifetime of illness and countless operations.
Tracey hopes the book will find it’s way into many a Christmas stocking and onto birthday present lists up and down the country, helping keep a Martha Care worker firmly embedded in the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children; if all goes well, perhaps in other UK hospitals too.
Subscribe to her blog at www.TraceyWest.co.uk