NO MATCH FOR HER, a tale of trials and spirituality, is about Travis Lee Hicks’ daughter, Lilli and her journey with leukemia. The first signs of Lilli’s cancer showed up in November 2014, when she was in 6th grade. But it was not until December of the same year that Hicks found himself in the hospital with his 12-year-old daughter, looking down at a handmade pillow with a tag that read “supporting parents of childhood cancer patients.” It was only at that moment that Lilli’s illness was given a name, and only much later that Travis and his wife LouAnne and their other two children truly began to understand its meaning.
After being diagnosed with AML (Acute Myeloid Leukemia) and because no bone marrow donor was available, Lilli had to go through four intense rounds of chemotherapy, all the while knowing that her success rate was around 65-75 percent. Thanks to her wonderful courage and the support of her family and church community, Lilli’s treatment was successful and she went into remission. A little over a year later her parents got the news they never wanted to hear: Lilli’s cancer had returned. This time a donor was found, and Lilli received a graft. Then began a new countdown, one that kept everyone on the edge of their seats waiting to see if the graft would be successful or rejected.
It is impossible to know, unless you have gone through something like this yourself, how terrifying it is to have your child diagnosed with cancer and Hicks conveys his range of emotions with mastery. The reader is right there with him at every moment, feeling the fear, love, and confusion he is going through. The chapters in the book are short, well-written and intense and flashes of Hicks’ inner thoughts and emotions are interspersed with the narrative, enabling readers to relate to how he’s feeling every moment. At the end of parts one and two, there is a small album of family photographs, which makes the reader’s relationships with Lilli and her family more even personal and towards the end of part one, Hicks commits to his own health and takes up running. In part two, Lilli’s chapters are alternated with Hicks’ running regime and his achievements, which coincide with Lilli’s milestones.
Readers will need a box of tissues for this heart-warming story of how a family, their friends, church, and community all pulled together to help 12-year-old Lilli Hicks fight leukemia in NO MATCH FOR HER, a great read–not just covering the medical aspects of the journey, but also the emotional ones.
~Corinna Underwood for IndieReader