LYNCHBURG, Va. -

She lost a special child in her own life, but a Lynchburg woman is using that tragedy to encourage other kids.

Michelle Marttila just released a book called "Happy Heart, Fill Er' Up."  She wrote the story and drew all of the illustrations.  The main character is on a quest to find lasting joy and peace.

It took her more than two years to get the book professionally published.  It's dedicated to her nephew, Eli Seth Matthews, who died of Leukemia in 2010.

He had a strong Christian faith and Marttila wants to share that message with other children.

"I just wanted to be able to, in his honor and his memory, get the book done and share with other children the joy that he had," Marttila said.

Proceeds from the book will fund pediatric cancer research.  It's available on Amazon and locally at Bloom by Doyle's in Boonsboro.

Click here to learn more about the books.