Local Man Launches Debut Book

Tuesday 03 October 2017



Local man, Stuart Neath, has launched his debut children’s book, based on the true and moving story of Olive, an extraordinary puppy who was born disabled.  Stuart, who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease, is a patient at The Shakespeare Hospice, and is donating all sales of his book to the Hospice.

This beautifully illustrated book was written by Stuart to help children understand the challenges of being ‘different.’  For children aged between 8-12, it tells the story of a clever, strong and determined (breed) puppy and her poignant journey, from discovering that she’s unlike her brothers and sisters, to how she learns to cope with her condition. Olive learns from watching the humans around her and uses this knowledge to shape her life and deal with how others treat her.

This heart-warming story was inspired by a real dog, born with Cerebellar Ataxia.  Olive’s original owner was advised to have her put to sleep, but after meeting her, Stuart’s brother, Duncan, fell in love at first sight, and he embarked on a mission to give her a safe and loving home.   Five years later, Olive is a thriving, happy dog who is dearly loved by Duncan and his family.

Stuart, who was taken ill three year ago, and says that his illness, although devastating, allowed him to explore other avenues, including fulfilling his life-long ambition of writing a children’s book.

Stuart said: “Disability is a difficult subject for children to understand, but hopefully Olive’s story will help them see it from a different and more positive perspective.  I want them to realise that it’s important to treat disabled people with respect and as equals.”

On the last page of the book, Stuart writes: “I am dedicating this book to my nieces, Celyn and Tirion; to all the staff at The Shakespeare Hospice in Stratford upon Avon who have looked after me so well, and to Olive, the most amazing dog I have ever known.”

Clare Stead, Registered General Nurse at the Hospice, said: "Stuart is a much loved and admired patient here; he is always positive and smiling. We are deeply touched by his book dedication and immensely grateful for his generous offer of donating sales to the hospice."

The book is on sale for £10 on the Shakespeare Hospice’s website at: www.theshakespearehospice.org.uk/Product/olive-by-stuart-neath-olive.




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