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Author Nancy Horton shares her faith and her battle with cancer
Jason Setnyk
Our Hometown

Author Nancy Horton shares her faith and her battle with cancer
Nancy Horton is the author of two books, a wife and mother, survivor of breast cancer, and she is also an inspirational speaker. Horton wrote "Hope in the Midst of Darkness" and "The Big, Fat, Bald Head". She is passionate about story telling and the spoken word. The pen is mightier than the disease!

Winchester - Jul. 25, 2011 - Nancy Horton is the author of two books, a wife and mother, survivor of breast cancer, and she is also an inspirational speaker. Horton wrote "Hope in the Midst of Darkness" and "The Big, Fat, Bald Head". She is passionate about story telling and the spoken word. Nancy Horton enjoys speaking to women’s groups, hospice and support groups, youth groups and schools about the importance of self-esteem, words and thoughts, dealing with fear, perseverance, forgiveness, true beauty and more. Horton also publishes a blog called "Hope in Darkness", and she is a member of the Ottawa Valley Writer's Guild.

Her literary works are getting some critical acclaim too. Her book "Hope in the Midst of Darkness" was awarded “Honourable Mention” in the July 2010 Free Publishing Word Alive Press Writing Contest. Both her books were also chosen to be part of the elite Great Canadian Author Program.

According to a Canadian Cancer Society report, "In 2011, Canada will continue to see an increase in the number of individuals diagnosed with cancer. Every hour of every day, an average of 20 people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer and eight people will die from cancer." Statistically just about everyone knows someone who has cancer or who will one day have cancer. So books and motivational speeches can give us inspiration and remind us that we are not alone, and they can be a beacon of hope through otherwise dark clouds of despair.

Horton's book "Hope in the Midst of Darkness" is a very personal account of her battle with cancer. According to the author, "Hope in the Midst of Darkness is an inspirational account of my journey with breast cancer. I openly share my life, along with the spiritual wisdom I’ve learned, to help others struggling in any type of dark situation.”

Her second book "The Big, Fat, Bald Head!" looks at a child's perspective having a parent with cancer. Horton explains, “The Big, Fat, Bald Head! is about a young boy dealing with the reality of his mother enduring chemotherapy. I believe the simple illustrations created by my son, Carter, help children engage, relate to and grasp this serious subject at their level. The book is a wonderful tool to help open the lines of communication between a child and parent about cancer. It’s light hearted and encourages children to value a person for whom they are, rather than by their appearance. Although this book is considered fiction, it is completely taken from my life experience, but told from Carter’s perspective.”

The writing process is different for every author. For Nancy Horton it began with journal writing. "After six months of journaling about my experience, I decided to write “Hope in the Midst of Darkness”, taking four years to complete it". Horton sites religion as an inspiration to write her first book, and her son inspired her to write the second book.

"After experiencing an encounter with God, I felt I needed to share my story with others. I had a very mixed up view about what God was like because of the abandonment and abuse I experienced as a child. Two nights before I went for a mammogram, I dreamt that I had a mastectomy and was restored in the same dream. When I awoke, I had a scripture come to my mind that I didn't know. It said, "Lord even though there is trouble all around me I will keep you alive." (Psalm 139:7;NCV). Later, I got a Bible and checked its existence.

The night I was diagnosed, I awoke, crying at 3:00 am, I cried out to God and I asked Him to comfort me. I felt a warmth and peace cover me like a soft blanket and I rolled over and went right back to sleep. I experienced the same situation two nights in a row. This was the beginning of my healing journey."

Horton reflects on her son's reaction about losing her hair because of cancer treatment. "Carter, my middle son, became hysterical when he found out I was going to lose my hair. He loved my hair and would often ask me to put my hair in pigtails to play. After his third outburst, I asked him if he would still love me with my big, fat, bald head, he laughed, and was fine from then on.

Everyone is touched by cancer in one way or another. I felt parents needed a tool like The Big, Fat, Bald Head! to help open up the lines of communication with them about cancer, to give them understanding of what it's like for someone to go through treatment and help answer any questions they may have in a positive way."

Three is a charm! Nancy Horton, who's favourite books include Charlotte's Web by E.B. White and The Bible, is working on a third book. "I've started writing a joke book for breast cancer survivors," said Horton.

If you would like to buy a book, Nancy Horton's books are available locally at Winchester Video Store, IDA, Shirley Fawcett Book Store, Hot Cup Cafe in Russell as well as River Rat Treasures in Iroquois. Nancy Horton can be contacted at horton_nancy@bell.net


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