You Can’t Take My Vision! is the story of Maci Fontenot, who at age 4 was diagnosed with an optical glioma, a tumor growing through her left optic nerve that eventually took the vision of her left eye and impaired the right. The first part of the book is written by her mother, Nikki, as she tells of hearing her daughter’s diagnosis, seeing Maci through chemotherapy and surgery, and finally Maci’s healing and readjusting to normal life. The second half of the book includes drawings by Maci and photographs of their journey, including touching pictures of her recovering from her craniotomy and meeting the Jonas Brothers through the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Although at first glance You Can’t Take My Vision! appears to be a children’s picture book, parents of children facing life-threatening illnesses might benefit the most from Nikki’s story of getting her daughter through the treatment and relying on her faith to sustain her through the more frightening moments. In that respect, the book is unusual – parents are more likely to relate to the first half, while children will undoubtedly be more interested in the pictures in the second. The book could also find a place on the bookshelf of any child to help him or her realize that differences and challenges don’t have to be impediments to realizing their potential and recognizing the uniqueness in everyone.
Although Nikki and Maci Fontenot’s book seems aimed at contrasting age groups, it’s a moving read and a reminder of the importance of gratitude and perseverance in the face of life’s curveballs.
Also available as an ebook.