Sawchuk pens story for inclusion in 'Shine' series - March 7, 2019
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Local accessibility advocate and former teacher Julie Sawchuk can now list published author to her list of accolades.
Sawchuk is one of the contributing writers to Shine 3: Inspirational Stories of Choosing Success Over Adversity, published by Suzanne Doyle-Ingram and Prominence Publishing. The book is now the top seller on Amazon.ca in two categories for its Kindle edition. Its print version will be available soon.
The book is the third installment in the inspirational book series, produced by Doyle-Ingram, CEO of Prominence Publishing.
Since she was struck while riding her bike on Blyth Road several years ago, sustaining a spinal cord injury that paralyzed her from the chest down, Sawchuk hasn’t been shy about sharing her story. Through interviews, her personal blog and a regular column in The Citizen, Sawchuk has been writing about her journey, both physical and emotional, but being part of a book was another step for her; one that she embraced right away.
Through a friend, Sawchuk was put in touch with Doyle-Ingram, who was searching for inspirational authors for the third installment in her Shine series. Sawchuk met with Doyle-Ingram and says the two instantly hit it off and wanted to work together.
Because she had been sharing her story of recovery on a regular basis, Sawchuk said she was “all in with both feet” right off the bat and was eager to write. She worked with Doyle-Ingram, the book’s editor, to craft her chapter, noting that Doyle-Ingram gave Sawchuk the freedom to write about whatever aspect of her journey she wanted.
The title of Sawchuk’s chapter is “From Two Wheels to Four: Flipping and Forgiving” and in it she details the incident that led to her injury, her recovery and the path to forgiving the driver who hit her that day. She also talks about “flipping” her attitude in the wake of dark days and doing her best to turn a bad day into a good one or a bad situation into a good one.
After sustaining her injury and making several recovery breakthroughs, Sawchuk says that a regular refrain from people is, “I don’t know how you do it. I don’t know how you keep going.”
Sawchuk says the answer is easy for her, because she doesn’t have a choice. She has to keep going.
However, making those decisions every day is the hard part, she said, and it takes “flipping” situations from bad to good, which is something she still does on a daily basis.
Though no stranger to writing, Sawchuk says she’s very happy with how the piece turned out and she anticipates feeling the true impact of being a published author when she reads the book in print form.
Working with Doyle-Ingram, Sawchuk said, was a great exercise and she was really able to tell her story in an effective way with a great flow. In fact, Sawchuk is already working on two new book projects, one of which is with Doyle-Ingram.
Sawchuk is already hard at work on a project with Spinal Cord Injury Ontario, a non-profit organization, on a handbook for people who experience a spinal cord injury. It will lay out what they can expect, information they need to know and answer questions they have.
When Sawchuk first sustained her injury, she was surprised at the lack of resources available. She and her husband Theo were left to their own devices in many ways to learn about their new reality, so Sawchuk is hoping that by penning the handbook, she can help others who experience a spinal cord injury and better prepare them for what to expect in the coming months and years.
The second project is a resource for people wanting to build an accessible home. Again, Sawchuk was surprised at the lack of resources and endeavoured to change that through her experiences. The Sawchuk family just recently moved into a new, accessible home on their Blyth Road property thanks to local contractor Casey Bovan.
She is working on this project with the help of Doyle-Ingram and the two are hoping to fill the gap for those looking to build with accessibility in mind.
As for her piece in Shine 3, Sawchuk is hoping it will connect with readers who know her and those who don’t.
“I hope people will see that they’re not alone and that it gets better,” Sawchuk said, adding that it’s still something she tells herself all the time.
For more information on Shine 3: Inspirational Stories of Choosing Success Over Adversity, find the book online at Amazon.ca or at prominencepublishing.com.