Critter's Choice featured in The Advertiser
CHEEKY CRITTER LIVES ON IN BOOK An article by Clare Peddie for The Advertiser, Wednesday 11 November 2020. Photograph by Matt Turner.
CHEEKY CRITTER LIVES ON IN BOOK
Cherrie Adams, with a photo of her late son, and Lucinda Gregory. Picture: Matt Turner.
WHEN her youngest son died of brain cancer aged 26, counsellor Cherrie Adams found writing as a way to process her grief.
She had one piece published, in Psychology Today, and another in a collection of works, Fear and Courage, then thought about writing a book to raise funds for brain cancer research.
Her late son Christopher, or “Critter” as he was known to family and friends, had already set up a fundraising platform, Strong Enough To Live.
“I didn’t want to write a story that told his medical journey, on just the last 11 months of this beautiful man’s very large life,” Mrs Adams said.
“My intention was that by reframing the actual events, I would be able to offer Critter the empowerment and choices that he had been deprived of by his disease.”
The book, Critter’s Choice, begins in another universe and takes readers on a journey through space and time.
It also describes Critter’s last 24-hours on Earth, ending with the choice, a lifeor-death decision, to stay or to go. The epilogue contains Critter’s Wish List, which acts as a reminder to those left behind: “Live life fully.” “We can lament when we lose somebody and we can be sad and that sadness never goes,” Mrs Adams said. “But why don’t we do the living that we want to do, while we’re alive?“ The book’s illustrator, Lucinda Gregory, became a family friend as she battled brain cancer the same year as Critter and had the same surgeon. The surgery left her with a permanent, rightside injury but, with
the encouragement of Mrs Adams, she learnt to draw with her left hand.
All proceeds from the sale of Critter’s Choice are donated to the NeuroSurgical Research Foundation for brain cancer research in SA.
The foundation says brain cancer kills more children than any other disease, and more adults under 40 than any other cancer, yet remains one of the most underfunded areas of research.
Critter’s Choice, $32.80, Photograph by Matt Turner.