We spoke to author Kay Lewis about her first book, Amazing Maisy. The *book is a reflection back to when Kay’s daughter Maisy was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, and what life is like now for Maisy.

Pictures of baby Maisy

Can you tell us about what prompted you to write a book?
The reason I wrote the book at first was mainly for Maisy to read so she could understand everything she went through. However, the more details I added to the book the more I realised that actually it would possibly help other families going through the same or similar journey.

What process did you undertake to write the book?
I have never written a book before, but I think the idea really was always in the back of my mind even when Maisy started having treatments. I wrote everything on paper and then finally transferred it to a laptop. However I stayed on my laptop for almost a year as I was unsure what to do with it! Then I remembered that my friend’s husband had written a few books so I reached out to him for help which he did and kindly edited it for me.

Kay with her daughter Maisy who had retinoblastoma, eye cancer, stood by a landmark

You have done some amazing fundraising for CHECT over the years, can you tell us about that?
As soon as Maisy got the all clear I knew that I wanted to thank the CHECT team and staff for all their help. We started with a family fun run which was held at our local park. But over the years family and friends have raised money for CHECT.

You are doing amazing awareness raising of retinoblastoma – can you tell us about how you are achieving this and your future plans?
When the book was finally published, I did not think at all about how I could advertise it. But just by looking online at ideas I then emailed book clubs, social clubs, libraries and from those emails. I have had a lot of interest; I did my first book club talk last week and next week I have my first book launch at the local library. I plan to keep finding new ideas and companies that I can go and do talks with and answer and questions. But so far, I have a few events booked.

Maisy who had retinoblastoma, eye cancer, as a baby with an eye patch on

How is Maisy doing now?
When the book was due to be released, she actually felt quite anxious about it all. She was the first person to read it and she learnt a lot from it and found it very upsetting to read. But she said it was also interesting as a lot of the information she never knew. Now she is actually fine about it and I think is enjoying the attention.

Kay with her daughter Maisy who had retinoblastoma, eye cancer, sat inside eating dinner

Maisy said, “I’m honestly so proud of my amazing mum who has written this book. It has been so lovely to read and learn about things I never knew. I have such an amazing family and I hope this book can give anyone some hope that needs it, or even just enjoy reading our story. This book is full of emotions so definitely keep your tissues nearby!”.

Kay and Maisy recently appeared on a radio show and podcast, you can listen to Maisy’s retinoblastoma story and information about the process of writing Amazing Maisy via Spotify:

*The views in this book are the views of the individual and may not necessarily reflect the views of the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust.