It isn’t often that an author doesn’t get to read a finished copy of their book before it hits book stores but that was exactly what happened to Heidi Redl.
“I am beyond thrilled,” Heidi said of seeing a finished copy of her book A Quiet Roar for the first time at the Open Book last Friday.
Her own copies of the book hadn’t yet arrived so when a friend told her she saw copies of the book at the Open Book, Heidi, her husband Tom, and this reporter went there to take some pictures to go with the story about her upcoming book launch.
While there Heidi spent a little time signing books for potential customers including one friend who happened to be in the store and bought the book on the spot.
Too excited to wait for her own copies of the book to arrive, Heidi ended up buying one to take home and read again with a critical eye.
Heidi will launch A Quiet Roar, published by Caitlin Press, with a book signing at the Open Book on Wednesday, May 24 starting at 7 p.m.
An avid writer Heidi has had stories and columns published in Canadian Cowboy Country, Canadian Geographic, and Maclean’s magazines and the MS Kamloops chapter newsletter.
A Quiet Roar is her first book and tells her story about living with MS (multiple sclerosis), from the first inklings that something might be amiss with her body, to the diagnosis that came in 2004, and beyond.
With MS the body’s immune system attacks the protective sheath (myelin) that covers nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord causing communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body.
A Quiet Roar is more than a documentary of Heidi’s experiences with MS, it is a story of courage in the face of adversity and determination to challenge head on a disease that is now estimated to affect 2.5 million people worldwide.
Woven through the book are stories of family, ranch life, friendships and a taste for adventure and travel.
Stubborn, is how Heidi describes her battle with MS. Although there is no known cure for MS Heidi has tried various leading edge treatments with varying degrees of success.
Recently she has started a restrictive diet recommended by Dr. Terry Wahls who also has MS and has found greater ability to get around without the aid of a wheelchair by eating a diet primarily comprised of vegetables, meat, fruit and nuts.
After a period confined mostly to a wheelchair Heidi started Dr. Wahls’ diet and has been able to get out of her wheelchair again and most of the time get around using a cane, her walker, and the arm of her loving husband Tom.
Exhaustion and depression are two of the big hurdles for people with MS, Heidi says.
“Whether it was the diet, or the return of my fighting spirit that makes me feel better emotionally, I don’t really know,” Heidi says in her book. “I just know my compulsion to fight has proved to make me happy, in itself, in the past.”
In telling her story, Heidi is hoping that it will give hope for others who are living with MS and other debilitating ailments such as arthritis.
In addition to her book signing at the Open Book, Wednesday, May 24 at 7 p.m. Heidi and Tom will be travelling around the region in the coming weeks for book signings. They will be at Nuthatch Books in 100 Mile House Wednesday, May 31 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; June 1 at Books and Company in Quesnel from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.; June 2 she will be at Books and Company in Prince George from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.; June 8 at the public library in Kamloops from 6:30 to 8 p.m.