Lynda Young, a public speaker and author, never imagined she would be living the life she has today. So much of what she does now happened organically, without a carefully laid-down plan.
Over the past few years, she has authored three books that serve as a guidebook for hurting families. Her first, "Hope for Families of Children with Cancer,” grew out of a personal experience.
Two others, ”Hope for Families of Children with Congenital Heart Defects” and “Hope for Families of Children on the Autistic Spectrum," fell into place after that.
Lynda moved to Snellville from Sacramento, Calif., in 1998. Her husband, John, was to be a professor of cancer research at Emory University in Atlanta.
While still in California, she heard about a school room at Egleston Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. In the program, elementary students met for three hours in the morning while middle and high school students would met for three hours in the afternoon. There was a curriculum for every grade level in every subject.
As a former teacher, Young was very interested in volunteering and began immediately after moving to Snellville. She worked one day a week with elementary children.
“We would go pick them up," she said. "We would walk with them or push them in their wheelchairs.”
Young said she absolutely loved the program and believed it allowed the children and families to maintain a sense of normalcy in their lives.
In 2002, when Young had been at Egleston a few years, one of the teachers in the room where she was volunteering asked her to do bedside tutoring.
Danielle was a 7-year-old cancer patient receiving a bone marrow transplant and was not able to leave her room. Young remembers the day she knocked on Danielle's door.
That day began a lifelong friendship with the family. She connected with the mother and felt it on a personal level.
“I felt like when I left the room that day," she said, "and got on the elevator, God laid it on my heart that I needed to write a book for these families.“
Young began writing her first book in the series, “Hope for Families of Children with Cancer.”
She said it took a few years just learning the process. Danielle’s family was the main family in the book. There were others she got to know and included, as well.
The book, published in 2008, provides advice and support to help families in this very unpredictable situation.
Unfortunately, Danielle passed away two years after Young met her. She is still friends with the family today.
“We were so blessed to get to know them,” she said.
Young's second book was “Hope for Families of Children with Congenital Heart Defects.” She said she felt led to write this book because so many babies are born with heart conditions.
“My heart has always been for hurting children and hurting parents,” she said.
Young's most recent book, “Hope for Families of Children on the Autistic Spectrum,” was published in October of 2011. Young believes the topic is very prevalent right now, and she is even familiar with children who suffer from it in her extended family.
The book covers all types of autism from moderate to extreme. She also touches on other behavior disorders such attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive–compulsive disorder. Many times children have more than one of the disorders as some may overlap.
Today Young does public speaking through Stonecroft Ministries. She speaks at Christian women’s clubs and at community functions for those with autism.
For more information on her books or if you are interested in speaking with Young you can visit her website. Her books are available through Amazon.