If the Make-A-Wish Foundation was going to grant a wish for you, what would you ask for? Eighteen-year-old Bethany Bridgewater asked to meet Melody Carlson, her favorite author. The two recently spent the day together at Carlson’s home in Sisters, Oregon.
“I was blown away when Make-A-Wish foundation contacted me about Bethany,” said Carlson. “I was told that I was her favorite author and that she’d read ‘all my books’ and her dream was to write a book with me.”
Shortly before the visit, Bethany sent Carlson her story about going to prom in a wheelchair right after she was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. Carlson realized she was about to do edits on her upcoming novel Prom Queen and it seemed like a God thing to include her. The two worked on it together during Bethany’s visit. The pair also worked on Bethany’s memoir, which will be about her journey through cancer. They came up with the title Swallowing the Red Devil. (Red Devil is a very strong form of chemo.)
“It was an honor getting to know Bethany,” Carlson said. “She is a sweet optimistic girl with a beautiful smile and the patience of Job. And her story melded wonderfully into “Prom Queen.” She said it brought a tear to her eye when she read it.”
After her diagnosis,Bethany was initially given a 17% chance of survival, but miraculously the cancer did not spread. After 14 rounds of chemotherapy and a surgery to remove the tumor and replace her knee, Bethany’s prognosis is good.
Melody Carlson published her first book in 1995 and she has been writing prolifically ever since. To date, Melody has published over 200 books, making her one of the top 20 most prolific authors of all time.