Teen Publishes Book that Helps Kids Deal with Loss of a Parent

A Rochester Hills family turned tragedy into triumph after the plane Mike D’Arcy was flying crashed two miles from Romeo airport on New Year’s Eve 2006. The 53-year-old doctor and pilot were killed and his daughter Katie, then 14, was critically injured.

Making a full recovery after requiring ambulance transportation for months, Katie returned to school nine months after the accident and was chosen as the Michigan Children’s Miracle Network ambassador in 2009.

At the age of 13, Megan D’Arcy wrote a children’s book titled “Be Happy” to cope with the loss of her father and the recovery of her sister. Now, at 18, the Stoney Creek High School senior is publishing the book to help other children.

Megan D’Arcy modeled the plot, which features a royal frog family, after her own family’s story. A young frog princess discovers that her father, the king, died in an accident. The frog queen then helps her children deal with their loss and learn to “Be Happy” as their father would wish for them.

“I decided to publish the book I wrote when I was 13 to reach out to small children who have lost a parent or even both parents,” Megan said. “I hope the simplicity of the story and beauty of the illustrations will inspire other children who have lost a parent to be happy and strive to succeed in honor of their parent’s memories.”

Megan is fulfilling her promise to strive for success.

She maintains a 4.0 GPA, takes six Advanced Placement classes and interned for U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and a microbiology cancer research lab in Dallas. She is president of Key Club, vice president of student council and captain of the varsity tennis team, among other activities.

With her sights set on Harvard Megan plans to follow in her father’s footsteps to become a doctor, her mother, Kelly D’Arcy, said.

“She never gave up,” Kelly said. “She’s a good kid and she had the best dad in the whole wide world.”

All proceeds from the book will benefit Yatooma’s Foundation For The Kids, a nonprofit foundation located in Bloomfield Hills solely dedicated to helping families who have lost a parent.

Kelly cited attorney Norman Yatooma as a large resource for helping Megan overcome her grief.

Founded by Yatooma after his father was murdered in 1993, the foundation provides a full spectrum of assistance. Nationally, it is estimated 1 in 10 children will experience the death of a parent by the time they graduate high school.

“Be Happy,” published by Momentum Books, illustrated by Shaughn Gawthrop and designed by Annamaria Sala, will be available for sale at select bookstores and on Amazon.com, retailing at $14.95.


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