Next book signing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Scooter’s in El Dorado
Marv Loucks, of El Dorado, shared his family’s story of raising a daughter with Down syndrome in hopes of inspiring and encouraging others.
“Down syndrome is the last thing we ever expected to hear when she was born,” Marv said.
He was talking about his daughter, Kyle.
The book explores how the birth of Kyle changes the life of her parents, Marv and Kerri. It was a defining moment in their lives.
Then 17 months after Kyle was born they faced another major crisis. Kyle underwent surgery to correct a heart defect. The surgery was successful, but she contracted a virus that nearly took her life before her second birthday.
That adversity was not the end for this family, but the beginning of something better.
Marv tells on those experiences in “Upside Down,” a story about how God used a girl with Down syndrome to change a man, a family, a church and a community.
Marv said when they began parenting Kyle he wondered if he should write a book about their experiences.
He put it off for a while, then didn’t know how to start for a while.
“It’s about her life and it took her living her life to this point to get here,” he said. “It soon became a book not about Kyle, but overcoming adversity.”
He got the inspiration to write it two years ago when for Valentine’s Day he was responsible for finding a speaker for an event. He talked to a man in Wichita who gave him a copy of his book. That inspired Marv to begin to tell their story. Two years later he finished the book.
The cover of the book features a photo of Kyle taken when she traveled with Kerri to Haiti. The picture was taken of her in the airport.
In addition, Kyle helps Skelly Elementary kindergarten teacher Mary Martha Good two hours one day each week and another teacher on Wednesdays, as well as volunteering at the senior center on Tuesdays.
“Upside Down” will encourage people to reflect more, reach higher and grow in their faith, love more unconditionally, give more freely, live more fully and persevere more intently. He said it is about finishing the race.
“‘Upside Down’ is a testament to what love and faith in God has done, can do and continues to do,” said Pam Hunsaker, regional director of Dolly Parton Imagination Library. “This book is the true story of the blessing that is Kyle, and how she touches the lives of everyone around her. One of my favorite Dale Archer sayings is, ‘When you are always trying to conform to the norm, you lose your uniqueness, which can be the foundation for your greatness.’ This book about Kyle and her family made me laugh, made me cry and made me thankful I am fortunate enough to have met them.”
Dr. Jackie Vietti, Butler Community College president emeritus, had this to say about the book, “Working beside Marv professionally and personally for the past 17 years, I have come to the conclusion that if anyone can turn upside down into right side unregardless of the circumstances or magnitude of the challenges, it is Marv Loucks. He has such an unwavering conviction to make his corner of the world a better place. The fruits of his work are real and plentiful, and this book is but on example of how he continually shares his wisdom and life’s lessons learned so selflessly with all who have the privilege of spending time with him in any capacity.”
“Upside Down,” published by Innovo Publishing LLC, is available in paperback, Amazon Kindle, Apple iPad/iPhone, Barnes and Noble Nook, Google Android and other smartphone/PC editions.
Marv held the first of two book signings Sunday at First Baptist Church. His next book signing will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Scooter’s in El Dorado.
Julie Clements can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.