William the Warrior
"William the Warrior”, inspired by the life of Andrew Christian Bryce, Written & donated by author Debra Wood. Coping with and understanding a serious illness is difficult and painful enough for adults. Watching a child face and fight a cancer diagnosis is unthinkable. Parents who have had to endure this pain are the only ones who truly understand the depths of fear they and their child feel.

Each book includes a stuffed William Warrior Bear which comes with The Andrew Christian Bryce theme song “WALK ON MIGHTY WARRIOR” song when you squeeze his tummy. Perfect for someone going through a difficult time.

Debra Wood, 43, of Gansevoort, is hoping her new book, "William Warrior Bear," will offer comfort and understanding for child cancer patients and their families. The book tells the story of William Warrior Bear, a little bear who battles against his own cancer and who, through the love and support of his friends and family and his strong faith, learns to be strong and brave. Wood found inspiration for the book in the life of Andrew Christian Bryce, a young boy from Troy she has only heard about. "I never got to meetAndrew, but I just heard so many wonderful things about him. He was 7 years old when they realized he had pediatric brain cancer and he was 11 years old when he passed away," she said.

After talking with her family about what she might do for the foundation, the story came to her. Once she had it written, her 14-year-old nephew Joshua Aaron Blake drew the illustrations. The title character is named after Wood's own father, William Blake, who passed away two years ago, and "Warrior" refers to Andrew. Because of her experiences with a seriously ill child, Wood feels she understands what other families go through and was able to put her heart into this project. "It needed to be out there, so we could make people more aware of what the children go through, because a lot of times ... they get left behind because they can't do things like other children," she said.

All proceeds from "William Warrior Bear," which is available at local Borders Bookstores, will go to the Andrew Christian Bryce Foundation. Wood wanted to make the book positive and focus on how brave and strong these children are, and offer understanding and support for their parents. She based the main character on all the stories she has heard about Andrew. "They say no matter how many surgeries he had or when he was coming out of surgery, he always made the nurses laugh. He was really positive," Wood said. So far, Wood has received praise for the book from someone who knows.

"It's really awesome. It's a beautiful, beautiful book," Bryce says. " 'Let hope live' is our trademark slogan. ... The bottom line is just encourage them and keep that hope alive because hope is everything."