An Oregon mother's "crazy, imperfect, pie-in-the-sky, Dear-God-please-let-this-work idea" to raise money for her son's medical treatments is well on its way to success.
Shasta Kearns Moore, whose nearly-2-year-old son Malachi has cerebral palsy, is selling a children's book she wrote and illustrated called "Dark & Light: A Love Story For Babies... And The People Who Read To Them." Her platform is Kickstarter, and the profits she makes are being put towards Malachi's costly care.
Unlike his identical twin brother, Jaden, Malachi has difficulty speaking and swallowing, and is unable to crawl, stand or sit up on his own.
Blogger and former journalist Kearns Moore explained the genesis of "Dark & Light" on the project's Kickstarter page: "Based on Malachi's primary form of treatment (the Anat Baniel Method), I knew that all people learn best when simple concepts are introduced and then made more complex with variations on the theme added in. I wondered if this concept could be applied to a story that would captivate both the young and the old and it wasn't too long before I was struck with the inspiration for this book."
The project easily met its initial fundraising goal of $5,000 -- and Kearns Moore has decided to increase the goal to $10,000 based on the venture's initial success.
She says that if she reaches the new goal, she'll have money to pay for additional editing and babysitting required to work on a second picture book. The plan is to write a trilogy. If support does hit the $10,000 mark before the Kickstarter deadline of June 27, Kearns Moore will increase her goal by another $5,000.
Over email, Kearns Moore told HuffPost, "'Dark & Light' is my way of trying to create a permanent funding source for my son's critical medical needs and support at this early juncture can have exponential effects on its success." She added it would be her "every dream come true" to be a published author and "give [her] son the best shot at an independent and happy life."
"We thoroughly believe that the Anat Baniel Method (ABM) offers him that shot, but it is quite costly and this financing would ease our burdens considerably," she continued, elaborating:
Forced to resign my job by the extreme demands of twins with special needs, our family relied on WIC and food stamps to get by until my husband earned a well-deserved promotion last November. While we are very happy to be able to provide more for ourselves, his monthly raise pushed us out of the brackets for those programs yet was not enough to cover the difference and we are now technically worse off than when we qualified. Ain't that the way!
Kearns Moore ultimately hopes to help many children who deal with cerebral palsy -- not just her son. She imagines a world where "so much money is raised that we can start a nonprofit to offer ABM to other children," she told The Portland Tribune.
For more information about Kearns Moore and her project, visit her Kickstarter page here.