Brave Kara fulfils writing dream
ASK any 10-year-old what they want out of life, and most of them will say a trip to Disney World, or maybe a new bike.Pose the same question to Kara Siert, and she will tell you her dream is to become a famous author.
ASK any 10-year-old what they want out of life, and most of them will say a trip to Disney World, or maybe a new bike.
Pose the same question to Kara Siert, and she will tell you her dream is to become a famous author.
But Kara is no ordinary child, because not only has she already published her first book, she did it whilst undergoing treatment for bone cancer.
Since she was born, talented Kara has never been happier than when she has a pen in her hand.
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Up until last year, the youngster spent all her spare time compiling her very own series of short stories, which she kept on her parents' computer at their home in Canterbury Close at RAF Lakenheath.
Then just before her 10th birthday last November, tragedy struck when doctors discovered a large tumour in Kara's right arm.
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It was the start of months of treatment, but whilst in hospital, Kara was given the opportunity to literally make her dreams come true and have her stories published.
“We had only been in the country a couple of months when Kara started complaining of pain in her right arm,” said Kara's mother, Linda.
“We assumed it was growing pains, but it got so bad she could hardly move her arm and it hurt to touch, so we took her to the doctor and an x-ray revealed she had a massive tumour in her arm. Six weeks later she had a biopsy, and we were told she had cancer of the bone.”
Mrs Siert and her husband Ward, who is a health care integrator with the 45th Medical Group at RAF Lakenheath, adopted Kara from China when she was just 11 months old.
“Ward and I waited so long to be able to have Kara - we were 15 years into our marriage - and we were absolutely devastated when we learned she had cancer,” said Mrs Siert, 47.
“She had chemotherapy from last October until July, and then had to have a major operation in January to remove the cancerous bone.”
While Kara was at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham having a titanium rod lengthened in her arm, her family was put in touch with the Dreams Come True charity, which helps children with cancer fulfil their wishes.
The charity enlisted the help of Arima Publishing, which compiled Kara's short stories - inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia and featuring a talking buffalo called Rocky - along with other fantasy tales written by the youngster.
Kara, who is also responsible for illustrations in the book, which is called The Tales of Cunburra and Other Stories. It has now sold more than 300 copies, and on Sunday she attended a special book-signing at RAF Lakenheath to mark the launch of a second edition.
“From the day she learned to write, Kara held a pen in her hand and began writing stories,” said Mrs Siert.
“She had so many different ideas and would start up to two or three stories in one day, some of which she didn't finish because she wanted to move on to the next one. She even taught herself to type, and at the age of seven she started filling our computer up with her stories.
“For a child of her age to come up with the things she does is amazing, and she writes them so beautifully. It had always been her dream to see her stories published, and we are just so proud of her.”
Kara added: “Having my book published is really exciting, and I like it when people read it and tell me how much they enjoyed it. I thought I would have to wait until I was older to be an author but this is really cool.”