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LITERARY LOCALS | Elizabeth Gerlach of Geneva

Updated: Feb 2


BEN'S ADVENTURES Elizabeth Gerlach wanted to find a way to give tribute to her son, Benjamin, one of her triplets who passed away in 2016 at the age of three. He had cerebral palsy, was nonverbal and used a wheelchair. The family established the Ben Smiles Memorial Foundation whose core mission is to gift switch-adapted toys and other devices to kids with motor/sensory challenges.

However, Elizabeth felt there was another key message she wanted to support – that kids are just kids. “All kids still learn through play,” she says. “They need to interact and need to have experiences. Just because a child may be in a wheelchair, doesn’t mean he can’t play or be a friend.” So, Elizabeth developed a book named, Ben’s Adventures, where a triplet brother with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair plays, dreams and uses his imagination to create fantastic adventures. A portion of the proceeds from every book will support their Ben Smiles Memorial Foundation (www.BenSmiles.org).

The book is published through StoryBook Genius Publishing and is being released this month at the Book Expo in New York City. It can be purchased through Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites as well as their own website, www.bens-adventures.com . -Mindy Kyle

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