Megan Touchton didn’t know her body was being ravaged by cancer as she wrote a children’s book about female empowerment.
She was 35 in 2018 when the diagnosis came in: triple negative breast cancer. The text for her second book, “Girl Strong!,” was written, but she was still working on its ethereal illustrations with illustrator Dasguptarts.
“It was one of the scariest kinds,” the Fort Collins author said about the cancer “It was quite a shock. Luckily, we found it early. I’m thankful to be alive after that.”
The book follows the life of a young girl. Touchton writes it as though she is speaking to her readers, reminding them of their strength and that they can survive any obstacle in their path: “With the light of your heart, you’re determined to soar. Your inner strength will guide you across every mountain and shore,” she writes in the 38-page book.
Those affirmations helped fuel her through the health crisis.
“I did really need all those messages,” she said. “It helped to see the book come together through that journey and see the affirmations because it reaffirmed everything.”
The book, released in December by Mascot Books, a hybrid traditional publishing and self-publishing company, was inspired by Touchton’s two daughters, ages 6 and 9. She wanted to read them female empowerment-themed children’s books but had trouble finding any.
“They say if you don’t see the book you like, write one,” she said. “Life can have a lot of challenges and if you have a strong sense of identity you can push through. The main message is to keep going. Life will be unexpected. Follow the light of your heart. Know you have value and light in your own uniqueness.”
As a girl, Touchton declared to her brother she’d be a writer someday, and her first grade teacher agreed, telling her parents the same thing. But it took a few decades to get there.
First, she had to work as a corporate trainer and sales manager, after earning degrees in business administration and human communication from the University of Colorado.
But in 2017, her husband encouraged her to return to her youthful dreams of writing poems and songs. She self-published the children’s book “The Easter Bunny Eats Vegetables” in response to the struggles she was having getting her kids to eat healthy.
Surviving cancer has left its mark on Touchton, making her stronger and wiser.
“You’re not in control in many ways,” she said. “You have to do your best to get through each day. You have to have faith you’ll be OK and, even if you’re not going to be OK, you have to make the most of each day. It changes your perspective on life. Even going outside after the diagnosis I’d pay more attention to everything — the trees, the birds, the landscape. It causes you to not take anything for granted because you don’t know how much longer you have.”
Contact the writer: 636-0270