An Author's Hope for the Future

An Author's Hope for the Future

Growing up without a dad, Dr. Nhung Tran-Davies says she couldn’t quite grasp the meaning of a father’s relationship with his kids. All of that changed when she and her husband, Dr. Grant Davies, started a family. “I was so inspired by the love and fun between a father and his children that I was seeing firsthand – now I understand.”

This new perspective reignited a love of writing for Nhung, and from that came her kids’ book, “Daddy is a Conundrum,” brought to life with colourful illustrations by Stephanie Parker. 100 per cent of the proceeds from sales of the book benefit brain tumour research.

Born in Vietnam, where her father lost his life in the war, Nhung and her family were amongst the boatpeople who escaped the war-torn country after the fall of Saigon. The Trans were sponsored to Edmonton, Alberta in 1979 and Nhung has chosen to spend much of her life in the region. Now, she and her husband have settled in the small community of Calmar, AB, with their family practice – and are the only doctors for the rural town. “Family is our focus,” explains Nhung. “It’s beautiful chaos, our day-to-day lives. While we love medicine, we love our children and want to spend as much time with them as possible.”

Given her childhood experiences, family has always been of importance to Nhung. When her 19-year-old nephew was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour in October 2011, she knew she wanted to do something. Being a doctor, Nhung understood the realities of the disease but says she was hit hard by the news of her nephew’s health. “It took on a very different meaning having a family member stricken by this type of diagnosis. You want to do more, to see a cure.”

That’s where the decision to donate the proceeds from “Daddy is a Conundrum” came in. To Nhung, every dollar donated towards finding the cure for brain tumours means more time with her nephew. “I want a cure so I can see my nephew grow up and achieve his dreams, to see the world and find his life partner.”

Today, after surgery and radiation, Nhung’s nephew is doing well. The high-grade ependymoma tumour has stayed in remission and biannual MRIs show no re-growth. Nhung’s nephew is now a paramedic, having pursued a career in healthcare so he, too, can help others. But for Nhung, there is always concern that the brain tumour could come back.

Giving to research that could one day discover a cure is one way to ease the fear. Encouraging young children to find a love of science, which is also part of Nhung’s book’s theme, is another.

“I wanted to write a story of a father’s love, but also of big words and big ideas to inspire children to love science like I do. Hopefully one of these little readers will one day become a scientist and find the cure for cancer.”

Through cause marketing and her children's book, "Daddy is a Conundrum," Nhung helps support the 55,000 Canadians living with a brain tumour and gives towards research to find the cure for the disease. 

To find out more about Cause Marketing and partnership opportunities, please contact:

1-800-265-5106 or 519-642-7755

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Story posted: May 2013

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