Finding Hope Especially When It Hurts

Today I am featuring a Q and A session with Trichelle Watkins, author of Finding Hope Especially When It Hurts.  This book tells the story of the Watkins Family caring for a child with Batten's Disease.  Parents who find themselves in this same situation can find comfort and hope in Trichelle's story.  Read on . . .

Please tell us about your book and why you decided to write it.

I originally started to write this down for my daughters.  Batten disease is rare and there aren't that many people who have experienced it.  I wanted them to have something that I didn't in the beginning because this is a genetic disease.  There is a possibility that one of their children could have it.  Then I thought about all the other parents of Batten children who are struggling.  I wondered if my story might be able to help one of them.  I finally decided that I needed to put it out there for anyone who wanted to find a little hope.

What was the most challenging thing about telling your story?

The most challenging thing about telling my story was that if I told the inspirational moments, where people could find hope, I also had to tell the deeply painful moments.  I did worry that people might judge what I did or how I took care of Hunter.  In the end I realized it really didn't matter what anyone else thought because I was there through the whole story.

How did writing your book help you heal from the tragedy of losing your daughter? 

It took me almost 12 years to finish the chapters about her death.  I was struggling with some emotional issues that had me bound.  I worked with a friend who helped me see that I did the best job I could possibly do for Hunter and realized that I had made the right choices for her.  As I came to believe that I was able to finish writing.  I have had unbelievable healing from this process.  I highly recommend writing as a way to help you heal to anyone.

Batten’s Disease isn’t very common.  How can Finding Hope Especially When it Hurts help other parents facing the same situation?

I wrote it with a couple of thoughts in mind.  The first thought was that even though this is such an emotional upheaval, it didn't have to mean that there was no hope or that joy couldn't be found in the journey. The second reason I wrote it was because one of the things I really couldn't find at the time was anyone who could tell me what was going to happen to my daughter.  Every child presents differently and there is no way for anyone to tell you how things will play out, but I could share a little bit of what happened with Hunter.  I think that what this does is offer someone who has experienced something similar to what they may be experiencing.  I have found a lot of power and strength in sitting with others who have been through the same thing.

It’s been more than ten years since the unfortunate passing of Hunter.  Has there been any significant progress in the treatment of Batton’s Disease?

They do have researchers working on it. If anyone is interested in more information I have attached a link to BDSRA website.

You decided to do an audiobook version of your book as well.  What are the advantages to offering your project as both a book and an audiobook?

The advantages are simply that some would like to hold a book and turn the pages and others would really like to listen as they drive to work or while they are cleaning.  I decided to read the book because I wrote it and know how I read it in my mind and felt it would be important to the listeners as well.

What would you like the readers/listeners of Finding Hope Especially When it Hurts to take away?

My overall desire for those who read this book is that it can inspire them to continue finding hope and to "Just keep swimming."


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