How Hope Matters Productions was Born


Have you ever noticed that when you’re passionate about something, you’re compelled to do more, to make a difference, and to share the news of it. When I first created When Your Teacher Has Cancer on pink paper in December 2008, my mind was filled with the hope of making a difference in Vicki Kennedy’s life, and in the lives of her 2nd graders (her “ducklings”). She’d been my best friend for 25 years; hearing that she had breast cancer hit me hard. I immediately went into overdrive to find a perfect book for her classroom children. I came up empty-handed–so I wrote it myself.

I wanted a book that told the story through the child’s eyes, yet also embraced the adults in her difficult journey. I wanted to portray cancer in a way that encouraged them to talk about it, even if it was scary and confusing. I also wanted them to understand that they could make a difference in their teacher’s life–and in one another’s life.

The story’s coping tools and simple stick figures were embraced bigger than I ever anticipated. That Little Pink Book led to a flood of adult requests to publish the title, and more like it – those coping tools had provided hope in places beyond the classroom. My vision of making a difference magnified into two book series (Little Pink Books and Little Patriot Books) and more books on tough topics, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Now with a team of five talented individuals, we bring our stories to life–giving inspirational talks around the nation to audiences of all ages. Making a difference in one way, leads us to make a difference in countless other ways. That is the infectious quality of hope.

Our team consists of Derek Makekau, an amazing graphic artist (at 2030north Studios) who serves as illustrator, web-designer, photographer, and videographer. Amaryllis Wohlever-Sánchez who is our translator and copy editor. Deborah Kern, a licensed clinical social worker who is our mental health collaborator. Our fifth major contributor is Chuck Makekau, who handles the bulk of logistical support. Each team member is a major blessing in the continually expanding vision of Hope Matters Productions.

We make it our mission to honor kindred writing requests, speaking engagements, product ideas, inspirational workshops, and countless other ways of sharing HOPE. To better meet those requests, we’ve created an integrated website:

To us, HOPE means Huge Outcomes are Possible Everyday!

Maryann Makekau, Founder of Hope Matters Productions Inc.

P.S. Vicki is doing terrific–living cancer-free & teaching 2nd grade ducklings!

2 thoughts on “How Hope Matters Productions was Born”

  1. This is amazing and heartwarming. Let's all of us know that GOD works through certain people; to help all of us get through our daily trials and struggles. This website and the books behind it should give all of us hope; that there is someone out here who truly cares for others. And, the author being my sister makes me so-o-o PROUD!!!! I say to Maryann: Stay strong in your quest to bring your message to all of us. We LOVE you and thanks for all you do!!

    1. Thanks Karen. God provides some sisters through birth and other “sisters” through friendship–and it’s an extraordinary blessing when we receive both in one package!

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