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Book by children for children celebrates 75th anniversary

3:52 PM, Nov 21, 2012   |    comments
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Averi Ramsey and Taylor Benson play together in a waiting room filled with toys at East Tennessee Children's Hospital.

They've spent a lot of time there.

They're both being treated for leukemia.

"I just got sick one day and and mommy..." seven year old Averi remembered. "I went to my old doctor and they told me I had to come here."

A former patient, 12 year old Jenna McMillan, wrote a book called East Tennessee from A to Z. It commemorates the 75th anniversary of the hospital.

Averi and Taylor are two of the children asked to help illustrate it.

"I immediately said yes," Taylor's mother Laurie Benson said. "I knew it was a great idea and a great way to raise money for such a great cause."

Taylor Benson illustrated the letter C. He focused on Cades Cove.

"The curvy road through the mountains," six year old Taylor said.

Averi said, "They asked me to color in the book."

Averi was assigned the letter Q.

She drew a quilt on a barn.

The East Tennessee man whose sponsoring the book has a special connection to Children's Hospital. His son was successfully treated there.

"His name is Kyan. We also call him Superman," book sponsor Blake McCoy said. "He couldn't fight off any infection on his own. His white blood cell count was unable to produce these neutrophils and he literally had zero at one point."

Blake McCoy credits Children's Hospital for his son's excellent care and full recovery.

"He's doing fantastic. He's in the 95th percentile on everything," he said.

The book is on display at the Knoxville Museum of Art and for sale at the Fantasy of Trees. The book costs $20 and all the proceeds benefit Children's Hospital.

"Something I want everybody in the community to know. Hey, we have a Children's Hospital and it's right here in our backyard." McCoy said.

Averi has something to say to the doctors and nurses who helped her get better.

"Thank you."

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