Article appeared in the May 12, 2011 issue of the Interlake Spectator…Winnipeg author, Kim Malchuk, was in Gimli to sign copies of her inspirational book, “Tasting Rain” at the Gimli Health Centre on May 5. The 49-year-old author will be donating 100% of the proceeds from book sales at the Health Centre to Palliative Care in northeast Interlake in honour of Palliative Care Awareness Week, held this year from May 1 to 7.
“This whole project was about giving back,” she said.
Malchuk’s husband, Mel, passed away in May of 2005 at the age of 46, after living with cancer for six years. In chapter 5 of her book Malchuk writes about moving into the Palliative ward with her husband at St. Boniface Hospital in Winnipeg.
“I’ll never forget the compassionate care we both received . That was the first time someone said, ‘Hey, how are you doing?’ When you hear “palliative care”, you think “scary”, “frightening”. It was anything but,” she said.
Doctors had initially given Mel only three months to live.
“We both said “no”. We learned to focus on today,” said Malchuk. She attributes his survival for six more years to the power of love, and reaching for a greater meaning in life.
“We’re all connected…I think people can see themselves reflected in this story. (The book) is not just about loss. It is about life. It’s a story about weathering the storms of life…There are not a lot of books from the caregiver’s side of it. It’s really made a difference in people’s lives,” Malchuk said.
The book was self-published in November, 2009, with an official launch at McNally Robinson Books the following month. It made it onto the Manitoba best seller list for 2010. To date, Malchuk has sold 1,500 copies by herself. Remarkable, since this is her first attempt at writing.
“I gave up the corporate life to share our story. Who would have thought it would become an award winning best seller?” said Malchuk, who was working as a sales executive with Pattison Outdoor Advertising before focussing exclusively on the promotion of her book.
“Tasting Rain” has recently been picked up by Five Star Publications in Arizona who will be re-releasing it next month in the United States. The book earned first place in Five Star’s Royal Dragonfly Book Award in the Self Help/Inspirational category for 2011. The book has also been submitted in the Hollywood Book Festival, which will take place in June, 2011. Malchuk is hoping it will be reviewed for a motion picture.
Government funding for palliative care in the northeast Interlake region is not currently available. Programs are 100 per cent volunteer-driven. Every dollar for programming is raised through various fundraising activities, explained Sarah Pinsent, Palliative Care Co-ordinator, who coordinates the program for communities spanning from Matlock to Hecla Island.
Copies of Malchuk’s book will continue to be available in Gimli at the Gimli Health Centre. All proceeds will be donated to northeast Interlake Palliative Care. To obtain a copy, contact Sarah Pinsent at (204) 642-4597.