Author, My Seizure Dog
At the ripe old age of seven, author Evan Moss is making a difference in the world. Raising tens of thousands of dollars and bringing awareness to an important medical cause might not be typical for most children, but Evan is not your typical boy.
Diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis and epilepsy, Evan began having seizures in his first month of life, and by the time he reached age four, he was having 300-400 each month. Surgery has helped to lessen the frequency of the seizures, but medical intervention is still necessary when they happen a few times every month, always during his sleep. For Evan's parents, Lisa and Rob Moss, the only way to ensure the safety of their son is through a specially trained "seizure dog," which will alert them each time Evan has a seizure.
A dog with such specialized training can be expensive. In his application to receive a service dog from the organization 4 Paws for Ability, Evan wrote an essay telling his story, titled My Seizure Dog. To offset the $13,000 fundraising goal necessary to train such a dog, the Moss family decided to independently publish Evan's story with CreateSpace, which would mean faster timelines, higher royalties for the cause, wide distribution, and no inventory hassles.
"One of the things I liked about CreateSpace was the ability to print on-demand so we wouldn't have to worry about distribution and housing a large stock of books," Lisa said. "I liked the interface of CreateSpace's online tools, and it was really simple to work through the upload process and start selling Evan's book."
When the family started getting the word out, Evan's story resonated with many people. In addition to social media promotions on Facebook, the family distributed a press release about the book and secured local media coverage, which soon turned into national media interviews with such news outlets as MSNBC, People Magazine, The Huffington Post, and CBS's The Early Show.
"Our goal was to raise $13,000 for a service dog and we met our goal in two days," Lisa said. "That goal was reached first by general donations, but the book brought awareness to our son's cause and helped him reach his goal more quickly."
Due to the positive publicity for Evan and his title, My Seizure Dog became a bestseller and his book sales multiplied. Through fundraising, book sales, and even a book signing, Evan has raised more than $42,000, which he has donated to help seven other children finish similar fundraising goals with 4 Paws for Ability.
In addition to gaining a service dog through his publishing and fundraising efforts, Evan raised awareness for a cause about which many may never have known and helped other kids in need receive their own seizure dogs. He also reports that he'll keep writing and is already planning another book.
As for Evan's seizure dog, the newest, furriest member of the Moss family will arrive in June 2012, giving the Mosses peace of mind and Evan greater independence, which he most certainly has earned.