Favorite Color: almost all of them
Favorite Scent: clean laundry, cilantro
Favorite Treat: anything peppermint or lemon
Hobbies/Interests: pilates/yoga, cycling, archery, swimming, crafting, running, thrift shopping
Carrie L. Case, Co-Author
I grew up in a home where the presence of a wheelchair was normal. It wasn’t mine however, it was my Dad’s. He was diagnosed with MS while my angel of a Mom was pregnant with me, so the loss of ability that got him to the wheelchair happened during my youngest years. For my Brother and I, this was our normal. I was inspired to write this book when my Dad passed away while I was pregnant with my first child. I remembered the way people sometimes acted around him and how I just wanted to communicate to them to “just be normal.” Since my kids wouldn’t grow up with their Grandpa present, I wanted them to know to just be normal when encountering wheelchairs…so I scribbled out a kids book. My Dad was a writer and an artist among other things, so I guess it was only fitting I went down that road as well.
In the 8th grade I decided I wanted to do something artsy when I grew up and decided graphic design was for me…things never changed. I’m a graduate of Washington State University and a graphic designer by trade. I’m happily married to my best friend from high school and am blessed with three little girls who keep me busy. I am a PTA Mom, Girl Scout Mom, Team Captain for Team Jerry’s Kids for the MS Walk each year, and Board Member for Women’s Resource (a women-in-business networking organization). I also volunteer in the nursery at my church. I love to cycle long distances, do Pilates, shoot arrows into hay bails and craft all sorts of things. We have a Bichon named Buddy who eats EVERYTHING and is fun to cuddle with and watch jump into any body of water without reserve. If I could be outdoors in the warm (not scorching hot) sun 75% of the time with my family that would be my ideal. The other 25% of the time I’d be in a thrift store treasure hunting.
Favorite Color: grey/black
Favorite Scent: exotic coconut
Favorite Treat: chocolate cake with LOTS of frosting
Hobbies/Interests: cycling, singing, writing songs, shopping, long walks outside
Faith Ecklund, Co-Author
August 10th 1997 was a day that changed my life forever. I was in a car accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down. I have regained many physical abilities, but most importantly I have gained an everlasting relationship with Jesus Christ. Many people ask me, “Where was God when you got in your accident?” I tell them, “He was right there holding my hand!” Through the grace and love of Jesus Christ I have been able to take on the daily obstacle of being in a wheelchair. It’s by no means easy and I have some extremely dark days, but I pull through by relying on God’s word and His promises.
Jesus proclaimed in John 16:33, “In this world you may have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Hearing these words from one that is so bold, makes my problems appear to be so small. Many times people will ask how I can manage or stay so strong? At first this wasn’t easy, but I soon learned that my strength did not come from me, but from God. Philippians 4:13 states, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The more that I took ownership in that promise, the more it has become a reality in my life and a testimony to others.
Favorite Color: orange
Favorite Scent: pumpkin spice
Favorite Treat: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream
Hobbies/Interests: drawing, hiking, photography, museum hopping
Mikaela C. Gonzales, Illustrator
Mikaela is a unique and creative 16 year old who was home educated for the past 11 years. She is currently attending Peirce Community College where she is pursuing her studies with an emphasis in the creative arts. Mikaela has studied piano for 9 years and was part of her church’s creative technical team where she developed skills related to sound and lighting. At the age of 15 her artwork was auctioned for charity and she was commissioned to paint several pieces as well as a mural.
Mikaela is a warm loving individual with a passion for children. At a young age, she began volunteering in her church’s children’s ministry and continues to work in childcare today.
Mikaela’s favorite bible verse is Romans 12:2 which says, “Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Fixing your attention on God you’ll be changed from the inside out.” (GNV)