Sweet story: grandmother writes children’s book to help granddaughter after losing legs
BALDWINSVILLE, NY (WSYR) – We all have a story. Our lives are made of small moments. Some of them are bad, some are good. All of them make us who we are.
The Gosson family is turning the pages of a chapter worth celebrating.
This particular story begins in 2019.
Riley Rose Gosson was two when she found herself in Golisano Children’s Hospital, fighting for her life.
Riley had bacterial meningitis as a result of an infection caused by an undiagnosed birth defect.
She was admitted to hospital on December 21, 2019. On January 10, 2020, doctors were in the operating room and were taking extreme measures to save her life.
Riley became a bilateral below-knee amputee.
It was a difficult trip and recovery, to say the least. Books and resources to help Riley make the transition to her new normal were hard to come by.
So Riley’s grandmother, Dana Gosson, decided to make her own children’s book about Riley, which they call RiRo.
With the help of Mary Babbles, an elementary art teacher in Syracuse, each page was illustrated and then printed by Dupli Envelope & Graphics.
Recently, Dana surprised her son JT, her now stepdaughter Irisa and little Riley with the book.
It’s called “RiRo’s Incredible Achievement”.
The Gossons hope the book will help other children deal with and understand injuries like RiRo’s.
They also hope it will help Riley overcome each new, unknown obstacle.
“A lot of kids can’t navigate it,” said Irisa Gosson, Riley’s mother. “Riley is reconciling, it took most of the summer.”
Now four-year-old Riley is tumbling down, cheering, and thriving. Just like little RiRo is in the book.
Her family is grateful to be able to watch her do it all.
This is my silver lining. That I still play with my daughter every day and watch her grow up. There may be a few speed bumps here and there, but it’s something that we overcome and keep moving forward as a family.
JT Gosson – Riley’s Father
“I hope she will know that she has a story to tell and that her story continues and that she is complete and that she has wonderful things to look forward to in this life and that she can be all that she can be. ‘she wants to be,’ Dana Gosson.
Donations of the book will go to two charities.
One is a special needs cheer and tumble group that Riley is a part of.
The other is a group in Charlotte, North Carolina that sponsors children with special needs to make their lives easier. They have sponsored Riley in the past.
If you would like to purchase your own copy of “RiRo’s Incredible Feat”, send an email to [email protected]