When Abbotsford author Frances McGuckin suffered a severe brain injury after her vehicle was T-boned in 2005, she had no idea what the future held for her.
“It took me over ten years to grieve,” McGuckin said, “ I didn’t start healing until I accepted this new me and started thinking and acting more positively.”
The positivity for the former Langley resident came in the form of two actions, writing and volunteering with Valley Therapeutic Equestrian Association (VTEA) in Aldergrove.
VETA is a volunteer-based charity that has been in operation since 1983; they provide medically-approved therapeutic horseback riding and hippo-therapy treatments for children and adults of varying abilities to enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well being.
“I found my happy place at VTEA, working with the children with special needs who take horse riding lessons,” she explained. “I don’t need pills; I just go to Valley and have my weekly medication of horses, helping, healing and happiness.”
On the writing side of things, McGuckin is known for her book Business for Beginners, earning the titles of Google’s number one “small business expert” and “small business author” upon it’s release.
That release coincided with her life-altering accident, but McGuckin said she has continued to write, mainly these days about the benefits of VTEA.
“It makes me feel so happy, I wrote about it, and it got published in the new Chicken Soup for the Soul book, Think Positive, Live Happy,” McGuckin said.
The long running book series has published more than 250 editions, touching on subjects like adversity, love, and health.
McGuckin was previously published in Chicken Soup’s Spirit of Canada edition about the 2015 Old Sechelt Mine fire and how to honour the people of the Coast and the Sechelt Indian band.
Now, her short story Warm From the Inside Out, tells of how volunteering at VTEA has positively changed her life.
“The children and the incredibly happy, devoted staff and volunteers gives one the largest doses of happy you could ever ask for. I felt compelled to share my story, as they need more donors, sponsors, volunteers and clients,” McGuckin said.
Think Positive, Live Happy was released on Sept. 24 with 101 stories focused on “how to create your best life.”
Signed copies of the book can be purchased at VTEA, 3356 256 St, by calling McGuckin at 604-857-1267, or at local bookstores – all proceeds will go towards VTEA.
“I’m honoured to be included in this book of short, motivating and uplifting stories, and hope that it brings more attention to the needs of VTEA,” McGuckin said.
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