Thank you! Thank you!

A few weeks ago there was article about me in the Star and Tribune written by reporter Kevyn Burger. It was about the journey Barry and I are on with his frontotemporal dementia (FTD), our family and my work.

It was a wonderful article even though some of it touched on some pretty tough and embarrassing things, like my upcoming bankruptcy. I thought long and hard about whether to share this part with Kevyn, but decided that if I was going to tell the FTD story, this unfortunate element must be included. I am far from the only person with a loved one afflicted with FTD who has been left in horrible financial shape. I hope my story will help others in similar circumstances know they are not alone and learn from my experiences.
I am humbled by all the kindness of friends and even strangers since the article appeared. I sometimes wonder how I can get out of bed each day. I now know that I am able to carry on because of the prayers and positive thoughts coming our way from all of you.

Next week, I walk into Federal Bankruptcy Court and begin a new journey — starting all over. Two years ago, I went through the same process with Barry’s bankruptcy. I had to be sworn in back then to testify because we weren’t sure Barry with his dementia would be able to contribute adequately. But Barry was able to answer all the questions just fine. It wasn’t so bad, and it was over in a matter of minutes. Now it is my turn. This time it will just be my lawyer and me. I am on my own now and that is kind of scary to think about.

Doodle Show

Throughout this journey, many of you have reached out to help. The kid literature crowd raised money for me and others have over-paid for doodles or books. Thank you so much! Since the newspaper article, many more people have asked how they can help. One way to help is to purchase books for the little ones in your life from a local independent bookstore!

You could also come to my show Doodles: A Five-Year Journey that opens on Friday, Dec. 5, at Gallery 122 at Hang It. I will be selling five years of doodles, original art and books with a percentage of the sales going to support FTD research and outreach. I would love to see you there to say thank you for all the support you have given to me and Barry – on both of our journeys.
After the show?  Well, I will continue to put one foot in front of the other as I head into rebuilding my credit – and, of course, doing doodles every day and producing more books. I’ve discovered that daily doodling is pretty good therapy!

Again, thank you. I hope to see you on Dec. 5.

For more information on the opening and show go to

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18 comments on “Thank you! Thank you!
  1. Ann Nordland says:

    I am sorry I can’t be there, but I will be there in spirit! A hug to you, and a hug to your folks. I hope it is a huge success!

  2. Beth-Ann Bloom says:

    This Thanksgiving I am especially thankful for you, your doodles, and the role model you provide for so many of us as you continue to put one foot in front of another on a tough road.

  3. Steve Carples says:

    Nancy, I was so inspired by your story in the Star Tribune, I wrote a blog article on it to inspire other business owners – see Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. All the best — Steve

  4. Carole K. Bengtson says:

    Read your journey in the Strib and now with this it all gives us a feeling to help and also to recognize what we have. It is brave of you to do all of this and hope it has helped you in this situation to realize you are not alone. Unable to get there but will be purchasing books.

  5. roger flyer says:

    We no longer live in the woods but in Alexandria. I’d love to work out a gig for you at our pre-school, book signing/talk at Cherry Street Books in town and a dinner and prayer for you. Honorariums? Kathleen Pohlig, owner of Cherry Street Books, loves your work.

  6. Mike Wikinson says:

    I met you briefly a couple of years ago at a reading at the Edina library. I was with a grandson and bought one of your books for him which you signed. I told you then that I met Barry once way back in the 1980s when he had his design studio going.

    Anyway, like so many, I was touched by the story in the Strib. Last week, I emailed several dozen people I know who very well could be looking for a gift (Xmas, birthday, etc.) for a youngster and encouraged them to buy one or more of your books. I intend to do the same in the years ahead.

    Hope this helps.

  7. Louie Nylen says:

    Nancy –

    My memories of Barry go back far and deep. We became dog owners together when we were long-haired roommates – Dame and Elka were littermates who grew to believe for a time that they were each named “DameandElka” – I know the short, happy lives of those unusual dogs were profound influences on Barry and me.

    I look forward to the show at Hang It. All the best.


    • Louie
      Dame had a big influence on me as well. She is the model for my first books and I actually liked Dame so much I started to date Barry.
      After we got married she became our first child!! Barry would love to see you if you are around town.
      He remembers everyone.
      Thanks for the email!

      • Louie says:

        Nancy –
        I will go see him next week. They say when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. I say when life hands you a shit sandwich, you work on the crust.

        My heart is aching for you and Barry.


  8. Jeanne Strauchon says:

    Nancy, I hope in the midst of all this difficulty and pain you can appreciate what you have accomplished that bankruptcy can’t touch: all the children who loved your wonderful books. Children who laughed and learned and asked for them to be read again. I’ll try to be there on the 5th so I can start the next generation of my family on your wonderful books. Thank you so much Nancy !!!

  9. My heart goes out to you and Barry as you face the roller coaster journey of frontotemporal dementia. I lost my beloved partner of over 18 years to lewy body dementia this past June after a 8 year battle with this cruel and unyielding disease. Surround yourself with friends, family, and compassionate caregivers. Music and dogs brought much joy when times were particularly full of anguish and confusion. As much as this disease robs our loved ones of so much, I would share that the essence was always there and a valuable lesson in just living in the moment. I’m sorry along with this you also faced the financial challenges. We fortunately did not but easily could have. Thank you for sharing your story and moving through this with the grace you do.

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