“We Have Superpowers,” written by the spouse of an Invictus Team Canada co-captain, was authored for the children of this year’s Invictus Games to celebrate their resiliency and role in helping their loved ones adapt to their illness or injury.
The brains behind this beautifully written book is Kari Mariska Pries, wife of co-captain Simon Mailloux, who was looking for a way to get involved after her husband took part in the Invictus Games for the first time in 2016.
“One of the great things about the Invictus Games is that it’s not just about the competitors, and the competitors are the stars, but it also includes the friends and the family. It includes the support networks that help these competitors get to where they are going. And they’re there for the injury and the recovery process and know the stories and go through, equally, what the competitors are going through in a very different way,” noted Pries.
She was then inspired to write stories about the families she met through the Invictus Games 2016 in Orlando.
“I wanted to really highlight what my experience had been getting to know all these families and hear their stories and realizing that we’re not alone. Even if our stories are different in the details, those overarching themes are there,” said Pries.
After meeting so many families at the Invictus Games, Pries wanted a way to celebrate children and the multitude of stories she’d heard about children helping their parents in the recovery process.
The book tells the tale of the various illnesses and injuries these superheroes, who had extraordinary jobs, received as a result of their work and what children do to help make a recovery possible.
“It really tries to say that the children are there too and they really play an important role in, sort of, reminding people why it’s important to go on and helping them to go on,” commented Pries.
We Have Superpowers was distributed at the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 to all the Invictus families.
The book has been well received by other competitors that Pries shared the book with, in the initial stages.
“She [the competitor] just started crying because she said ‘this means so much for me and my kids and my journey and helps me to explain to my kids what they mean to me and what their support has meant to me,” recalled Pries.
Pries hopes that in the future the book can be reproduced for Military Family Resource Centres across the country.
We Have Superpowers was co-authored by Pries’ sister Kirsten Pries and was illustrated by Emma Laurie.