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American Faces - #43

Updated: Mar 11


American Faces No.43


Have you ever been blown away by someone when you first meet them? I was, by this wonderful teenager named Sani, as I sat across from her at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore in Maple Grove, MN. She has already endured much in her years on this earth. She was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer in 2015, just months after her mother Natasha was diagnosed with the same form of cancer. As I asked questions I saw a young lady with such incredible poise and care for her fellow human that my heart was truly stirred. Though she’s endured much hardship, she has a huge desire to give to others. Sani’s way of giving is through collecting and donating books to hospitals and various healthcare facilities so young patients like her might have something to read. She calls her organization Sani's Book Adventures.

Sani has spent many days in hospitals. Books gave her an escape, and helped take her to places she could only dream of going as she was fighting hard against thyroid Cancer. Those literary adventures gave her a place to go where cancer could not hold her back. She got to be princess, a mountaineer and maybe even the brave soldier fighting the battle that others were not strong enough to fight. Imagination and dreams are precious to Sani and her fellow fighters, and books can be a powerful window into that place where they find hope.



Sani’s Book Adventures has provided Sani’s family something to rally around as they’ve fought their Cancer battles together. Julian, Sani’s dad has been the man of great strength, supporting this adventure. He’s also the guy who gets to carry the boxes of books into each place the books find a home. Sani’s brother Jack helps select books. He’s especially drawn to classics that are wonderfully ornate and full of adventure. Aric, Jack’s twin brother, is also wonderfully in the mix as this family pushes on in their work to bless others.


I really wanted to keep writing more, but perhaps it’s best to close by leaving you with Sani’s own words. When I asked her why she started Sani’s Book Adventures, she simply said, “To help others find hope in the darkest of places.”


Every day, we bump into people who are going through something really hard. Let’s follow Sani’s example and do what we can to help them find hope in the darkness.



Click the link to learn how to help, donate or read more about Sani's Book Adventures:

Sani's Book Adventures


To see the recent Kare11 interview that was wonderfully done click here:

Kare11 Interview

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