Hello Heughligans! Pull up a chair, have a seat, and get your eyes ready to read this long post. 😊
I would like to talk to you about a boy I met recently who has ties to the Outlander fandom. His name is Alexander Goodwin and he lives in England. He has a remarkable story that his father captured in the book “Alexander’s Journey: Dum Spiro Spero”. Support from the Outlander fandom is part of his story. Alex is in remission from Ewing Sarcoma Cancer that was in his right pelvis and femur. It almost took his life. Through the global power of social media, Alex and his family found themselves traveling to Kansas and Missouri for life saving treatment. During it all Alex maintained his smile and positive attitude. If you are on Twitter, then I am sure you have seen his interactions with Diana Gabaldon, Stephen Walters, Mark Hamill, and William Shatner.
Along with my Heughligan duties, I am the General Manager for a coffee shop located in a public library and I am a volunteer for Planet Comicon Kansas City (PCKC) as a Lead Superhero (Manager) for the Volunteer and Information Services. At PCKC I oversee three departments, one of which is our ADA Services. During this year’s show I went to check on the ADA Services Superhero to see how things were going and see if she needed anything. I met her out on the show floor as she was escorting someone for the day. I look to my right and THERE WAS ALEX! I gasped! I was so excited to see him but tried to reel it in so I wouldn’t scare the young lad! We have followed Alex through our HH twitter account for the last few years. He and his Dad, Jeff, were at PCKC as special guests to William Shatner. Throughout the weekend I was able to take time to assist in escorting them around the convention center to enjoy the show. Alex gifted me with a signed copy of his book, and I cherish it.
Alex must make many more visits to Kansas and Missouri for many years to come. He must return every 3 months for blood tests and for monitoring of his leg. There is a chance the cancer could return. Of course, these trips are not free and the medical insurance the family has does not cover Alexander’s treatment in the US. All expenses are paid out of pocket by the Goodwin family. Sales from the book help pay for Alex’s continuing treatment.
After I read “Alexander’s Journey” I was so moved, it got my wheels turning. Since my shop is inside a library, I have a relationship with the Library Director. I personally purchased two copies of “Alexander’s Journey” and donated them on behalf of Heughan’s Heughligans to the library to be added to their catalog and placed on the shelves for patrons to check out on their own. This is a unique situation. Not everyone can donate books to the library and have them placed on the shelves. They are usually put in a “to be sold” pile to raise funds for the library.
And now I come to the reason for this post. I have a challenge for you, Heughligans. We have done amazing things as a fan group and you often make us Admins proud with your support and generosity for Sam’s supported charities. I am hoping we can do more amazing things.
Here is the challenge… I want us to band together in our regional groups, go to your local library, speak/email with the Library Director about a “Request for Purchase”, and get Alexander’s Journey on the shelves of your library.
Whaaaaaat? You say? Yes! I say!!…and no, this might not be an easy peasy thing to accomplish. As I stated earlier, I have a business relationship with the library my shop is in so I was able to speak with the Branch Director about tips and tricks on how make this happen. (See, I told you this was going to be a long post!)
Here is what you do:
- Contact your local Heughligan/Outlander fan group and share this information with them. We have a list of local HH groups available here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/heughans-heughligans/regional-outlander-groups/585159288227984/ (available only if a member of the HH FB group)
- Follow Alexander’s Journey on social media.
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/alexs_journey
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alexgjourney/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alexsjourneydumspirospero/
- Determine which library in your area you are going to focus on. Look up the library’s website and see if they have a REQUEST FOR PURCHASE and fill out the form. If there is not one listed on the website, then contact COLLECTION MANAGEMENT or the Branch Manager via their email and formally request to have “Alexander’s Journey” purchased by the library for all patrons to check out. Be advised that not all libraries will be receptive to this, but if you concentrate your efforts with as many people you can to one library, it will enhance your chances of succeeding. A tip from my Branch Manager was to make sure you contact the Branch Manager of the library you are requesting a purchase.
- Add link for purchase and talking points to your email.
- Links for purchase: US Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alexanders-Journey-Dum-Spiro-Spero/dp/0999116401 UK Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexanders-Journey-Dum-Spiro-Spero/dp/0999116401
- Talking points: Forward is written by Mark Hamill, Luke Skywalker from the Star Wars saga.
- Followed and supported by Diana Gabaldon, writer of the phenomenal Outlander series.
- Followed by William Shatner, Star Trek’s James T. Kirk. Alex has been Mr. Shatner’s special guest to Comicons in the United States.
- Alexander’s Journey has nearly 34K followers on Twitter.
- For KS and MO libraries: Alex and his family came to Kansas City to receive his life saving surgery and treatments from KU Medical Center and Children’s Mercy Hospital. Alex continues to travel to the United States every three months for check-ups while still living in England.
- Throughout this entire journey, Alex has maintained an uplifting and positive attitude. He cares so much for animals and other people. He always has smile on his young face. Local Kansas City news station KCTV5 covered Alex’s arrival to Kansas City: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGsoVVY4LwM The Kansas City Star filmed video a year after Alex’s surgery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGsoVVY4LwM
- Alex’s father, Jeff, is a police officer in the UK. A co-worker of Jeff’s wrote a song and filmed a music video to help raise funds via iTunes for Alex’s treatments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KplPqcYqKA
- Review of “Alexander’s Journey: Dum Spiro Spero” by Diana Gabaldon- “Alexander Goodwin is a hero. So is his Dad, police officer Jeff Goodwin, who would NOT give up when the UK medical establishment said there was no hope. Thisis the story of Alex and his family and their fight to keep both life and hope alive. It’s heart-breaking, heart-warming and the sort of book to inspire hope, courage and tenderness in any reader’s heart. Dum Spiro, Spero is the subtitle of the book: it means, ‘While I breathe, there’s hope.’”
- Purchase your own copy! I ordered two books from (US) Amazon and received them quickly. **US Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Alexanders-Journey-Dum-Spiro-Spero/dp/0999116401 **UK Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexanders-Journey-Dum-Spiro-Spero/dp/0999116401 (You might want to order some tissues as well. ) **Canada Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Alexanders-Journey-Dum-Spiro-Spero/dp/0999116401
- Comment on Alexander’s FB wall or send a tweet via Twitter when you have successfully completed your challenge!
- If you wish to make monetary donation to help Alex: https://www.gofundme.com/alexandergoodwinsjourney?fbclid=IwAR2h3h8SGiVk5HzrfdYNQ8KGHU5w_JXGyB8SKnMGZocpf8myT73amhoUEYY
So, GO! Get out there and work your Heughligan magic to spread the word of this boy’s uplifting and inspiring story! If you have questions, please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.