Houston, TX (PressExposure) March 09, 2013 -- Sarah Sauer's passion for animals and a keen eye and talent for photography inspired her to create a picture book to inspire young children to love nature and wildlife animals as much as she does.
Spring 2013, What Do You See When You Look At Me?, will be released. It's story, and that of its author is a remarkable one.
The book, and its audience, makes sense for Sarah, a 19-year-old early childhood education major from Corydon, Indiana, who spends her free time teaching preschoolers and tutoring foster children in Louisville, Kentucky, 30 minutes away from her home.
What's more astounding is Sarah's own story. She is a 12-year survivor of pediatric brain cancer, diagnosed at age seven. After surgery and months of chemotherapy and radiation, she had to re-learn how to walk and use her hands. She will always stand at 4-foot-8 and, because of slowed reflexes, will never be able to drive a car.
But Sarah hasn't let these challenges hold her back, and her new book is proof of that.
"I want this book to help little kids see the love and the good in animals," says Sarah. "I want them to see how special and beautiful animals are and that everyone, really, is special in their own way."
Sarah took the photos in the book as part of a photography class at her high school for which she won the top award at her school and received a gift certificate from her teacher who saw special promise in her photography skills. Then, Sarah enlisted her preschoolers' input, showing the children the photos and asking them to describe what they saw. Many of their responses made it in to the book.
Sarah's mother sent the book idea to Lisa Umina of Halo Publishing. Umina saw immediate potential in the book and in Sarah's story. "I am both honored and humbled to have this opportunity to witness Sarah's unbelievable courage as a cancer survivor and her ability to celebrate life through her talents as an author and photographer.
Sarah plans to donate several of her books to the WHAS Crusade for Children campaign, which helps children with special needs. Part of the proceeds from the book will also be donated to groups that have supported Sarah during her recovery from cancer, including St. Joseph's Children's Home and Development Center, where she currently volunteers.
About Sarah Sauer -- Sarah is a childhood brain cancer survivor and a devoted animal lover. Her love or animals is something she drew on for strength throughout her illness. Sarah is studying early childhood education and hopes to share her love and knowledge of animals to promote and develop an appreciation of wildlife in young children. She currently lives in Corydon, Ind. with her family and her horses, dogs, llamas, donkey and cats.