How do you keep a dad alive when he isn’t?
For Sherina and Nikhil Mahtani, memories of their father Sam are a bit faded. It's been ten years since he died from esophageal cancer.
Nikhil said, “I remember always going to his office and he would keep his little stash of candy in one of those drawers.”
Sherina said, “I remember he traveled a lot, so he would bring back stuffed animals from all over for us always.”
“We figured like ten years that's a long time. We wanted to do something,” said Nikhil.
That “something” is What Do Dads Do?, a children's book benefitting cancer research inspired by years of bedtime stories.
Sherina said, "Every night we used to kind of get in bed and talk and we would always ask our mom what our dad did.”
Nikhil said, “The conversation turned into a more general sense of what jobs are out there and so we thought writing a children’s book would be like a fun way to incorporate that.”
Fifteen-year-old Sherina did the sketches to guide the illustrator. Her 18-year-old brother came up with the rhymes and yes, they argued.
She said, "We actually got in a big fight because he wanted every other page basically to include a different type of sport. And I said one is enough.”
The book features their step-dad, former CBS newsman Russ Mitchell, their mom's new husband and father of their little sister. The book also has businessmen and ball players, salesmen and soldiers.”
Nikhil said, “We wanted kids to realize that even though their parents aren’t always around that they still do love them. "
Click here to donate to Nihil and Sherina's efforts to raise money for cancer assistance
Click here for more information on What Do Dads Do? and how to order