When Ruthe Rosen, author of Never Give Up: Finding Hope and Purpose in Adversity (Cypress House, June) lost her teenage daughter to brain cancer in 2006, she turned away from despair and chose instead to use the experience to create the Let It Be Foundation, which assists families facing similar circumstances of terminal illness in young people.
Rosen first self-published Never Give Up the year her daughter, Karla, died, but because she had no professional guidance in the venture, that edition of the book eventually fizzled. "It did receive wonderful reviews, though, which inspired me to give publishing one more try," says Rosen, who lives with her husband and two sons in Southern California. Eventually she hired the consulting team of Kent Carroll and Jody Blanco; they helped facilitate the sale of Never Give Up to Joe Shaw at Cypress House.
Rosen is a former flight attendant and sales director for a nail-care company who now devotes her time to sharing her journey of loss and hope as a public speaker and family advocate. Never Give Up chronicles Karla's yearlong battle with cancer and her unflagging optimism and courage as she faced death. "We've transformed the memory of Karla's positive attitude into a legacy of service to others," Rosen explains. "People ask me why I keep doing it, and I tell them that if I can live without my soul mate, I can do something for others in need." She will be touring for the book in August and September. Today she will be signing in the autograph area at Table 4, 4–5 p.m.
The foundation has already provided support to 30 families, and its fund-raising efforts continue. "When a child becomes ill and is facing death, the entire family is affected and needs help. Many people don't realize this, and it's been my mission since Karla died to let the families know that there is hope and meaning even in the most painful times. We try to give them a sense of normalcy in their lives while their time is consumed with the child's illness." Let It Be, which provides such services to families as housekeeping, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and guidance in meeting the needs of siblings, is now active in four California cities, and Rosen hopes to expand its outreach nationally. "I'm excited to see how many more lives the foundation will impact once the book is published. I want people to know that they can and will get through their loss."