An Abbotsford author who has a short story featured in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series will share her story and sign books on Thursday, Nov. 14.
Frances McGuckin will be at the House of James (2743 Emerson St.) at 7 p.m. to talk about how changing her attitude to one of positivity has helped her in healing from a brain injury and in dealing with everyday life.
McGuckin was a small-business expert and author of the book Business for Beginners in 2005 when her vehicle was T-boned and she suffered a severe traumatic brain injury.
Throughout the years, she was embarrassed to tell people about her injury until reaching out to the Fraser Valley Brain Injury Association last summer after a traumatic event set her back.
“Their support has been fabulous and now I am working on a book to help brain injury survivors and their families,” McGuckin said.
“I want to spread the word that there is healing, hope and happiness after trauma. I said I would never speak or write again after my accident. And here I am , in a smaller way, getting published and challenging myself to speak again.”
McGuckin also found strength through volunteering at the Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association (VTEA) in Aldergrove, working with the children from across the Lower Mainland with special needs who take horse riding lessons.
Her short story Warm From the Inside Out tells about how volunteering at the VTEA changed her life. That story was published as part of the newly released Chicken Soup for the Soul book Think Positive, Live Happy.
McGuckin says it took her over 10 years to grieve after her accident.
“I didn’t start healing until I accepted this new me and started thinking and acting more positively. Volunteering at VTEA is an amazing experience,” she said.
McGuckin said part of a debilitating residual of her brain injury is depression and anxiety, but she doesn’t need pills; instead, her “weekly medication of horses, helping and happiness” gets her through.
She said she was happy to share her story about VTEA and was excited to see it selected for inclusion in Think Positive, Live Happy.
“I’m honoured to be included in this book of short, motivating and uplifting stories and want to encourage others that finding your happy place helps in healing.”