Monday, March 26, 2012

Katrina and Winter: Partners in Courage (My New Chapter Book Biography of Katrina Simpkins with Winter, the Dolphin)

Katrina Simpkins is a hero to everyone who meets her.  She is certainly a hero to me.

(Please see video about Katrina and Winter, the dolphin of the Dolphin Tale film at the bottom of this post.)

I heard about Katrina three years ago at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida, where we had gone to see Winter the young dolphin who had lost her tail in a crab trap line.  She had been fitted with a prosthetic tail to help her swim the way a dolphin does. 

A video had been produced by the aquarium about Winter's meeting children fitted with prosthetic limbs who found strength and solace in this amazing dolphin.  Katrina, whose life had been profoundly changed by meeting Winter, was featured in the video. 

Two and a half years later, I received a phone call from a woman who identified herself as Martie Simpkins.  I immediately thought, "I've heard of this woman."  And I had.  

Martie is Katrina's mom.  She'd seen what I'd written about Winter on my blog and wanted me to write the authorized biography of Katrina, as it related to her relationship with Winter.

Katrina's first look at Winter, the dolphin
I was excited and apprehensive about doing the book.  I'd never done a biography, and it was instantly crucial to me to do the best job I could for Katrina.  It was both frightening and exhilarating.

And then I met Katrina.  She and her family, who live in Indiana, visited us one weekend.  That's all it took.  She captured my heart as she does everyone's.  The book is important for Katrina.  For me, it is serious, and it has become personal.

Katrina Simpkins, who was born with Proximal femoral focal deficiency , is the bravest person I've ever met.   She is kind, loving, expansive and wise.  And she's only twelve.  It is my honor to have written her biography.  The book will be released in May, 2012 by Guardian Angel Publishing. 

Katrina and Nancy at the author's home.
The story of Katrina and Winter is inspiring.  Her life is remarkable, as is Winter's.  These two youngsters are forever inextricably connected.  Each has a formidable story.  Each is a hero of the first water.  Put them together with the help of Guardian Angel Publishing, and you have Katrina and Winter:  Partners in Courage.


  1. I've known lots of kids with special needs and find this story inspiring. The film is amazing and, since Nancy Stewart is a great writer, I'm sure her book will be, too.

  2. Jan, thank you for your kind and always supportive words! I can't thank you enough for caring.

  3. I can't wait for this book to come out. I love inspiring stories. Children and adults need to read about people and animals that rise above their disabilities. Bravo to Winter, Katrina and Nancy!

  4. Thank you so much, Kathy, for your good wishes and kind words!

  5. Okay, I'm crying from watching that beautiful video!

    Nancy, my daughter and son-in-law live in Indian Rocks Beach. I'm definitely going to see Winter on my next visit. I'd love to meet up with you for a cup of coffee or something. I'm going to send this blog post to the libraian at IRB as well as my family.

    God bless. I'm so proud of the work you're doing.

  6. Nancy,

    Thank you for sharing this absolutely heartwarming and touching story and video. Amazing! I'm waiting with bated breath. I know it will be amazing!

    Best regards,
    Award-winning Children’s Author
    The Golden Pathway story book Blog
    Write What Inspires You Blog

  7. Thanks, everyone, for your kind and generous comments. Kathy, it would be great to get together, as I'm right up the beach from your kids. Let's do it!

  8. Nancy, thanks for sharing this video. It is absolutely inspiring. It brought tears to my eyes. I will share this with my critique groups.