The memory of Daniel Farbrace, who passed away in June 2017 at the age of just 21 months after battling cancer, lives on through a charity founded on his behalf. This week, a Kerry writer, Davena O’Neill, is doing her own little part to keep Daniel’s spirit alive
It all started for Davena, a Killarney native who now lives in Abbeydorney, when she entered a writing contest called ‘A Story for Daniel’ that raised donations in memory of Daniel and where Davena submitted a story, which she had worked before.
That story was ‘Little Star Lost’. The story follows the little star who falls from the night sky and meets wonderful forest dwellers who help him get home. It explores the themes of friendship, kindness, and loss. Davena says it’s a gentle introduction to the subject of grief, and how those we love never really leave each other.
Daniel’s parents loved Davena’s story and chose her as the winner of the competition. After that, Davena thought that her story might have a future as a real children’s book and set about turning it into reality, hoping to raise even more money on Daniel’s behalf for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
The money from the book will go directly to the Daniel’s Brighter Future Fund at the hospital, and the money will be used to support families with caring for a sick child and for cancer research.
Speak with The Kerryman This week, Davena spoke about the October 2020 journey to date, when she will be able to keep a physical copy of her book in real life.
âI write a little and you know, on Twitter you follow different people and see that competitions are coming and what is not. This lady announced that there was a competition going on to commemorate this little boy named Daniel Farbrace, who sadly passed away. His parents ran the competition and then the entry fees would raise funds for his small memorial fund with Great Ormond Street Hospital, âsaid Davena .
âThey asked for uplifting stories, and so I had this kid story that I was working on and I put it in and Daniel’s mom picked it as the winner. Because it was a beautiful kid’s story, people told me she would do it a beautiful picture book and I thought it would be nice if we could turn it into a picture book, the proceeds from the sale could go to Daniel’s memorial, âshe continued.
“This was an affair of the heart, in memory of a precious little boy and to raise money for a very good cause,” ended Davena.
That original dream has now come true for Davena thanks to the generous help of Martin O’Brien, a colleague from Killarney, and Evelyn Vazquez, a Wicklow-based artist
The book is available from Polymath’s Bookstore Tralee, First Chapter Bookstore at Manor West, from Amazon in paperback, and on Kindle. Davena can also be contacted at [email protected]