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Sarah Curry Rathel '05 (A&S)

Sarah Curry Rathel

Have you ever tried to explain "differences" to your child? Have they ever asked questions about why other children don't look the same as they do, or maybe why they don't look the same as other kids? These questions lead to conversations that are sometimes hard for our kids to understand, especially in terms of children with disabilities, illnesses, or other situations that make them physically appear "different" than typical children.

My name is Sarah Curry Rathel. I graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2005 magna cum laude and with high honors from the Dept. of Communication. My life changed while sitting in an Internship class in McMicken one day. Two women from Make-A-Wish came in looking for an intern. I spent over a year interning for them and then took a job granting wishes for a few years. I found a love for non-profit and an overwhelming need to making a difference.

After spending years working in non-profit for children with life-threatening illnesses and having my own children with some special needs, I discovered a real need to help our children learn to celebrate differences, and realize that we are all different, and that makes us the same. A few years ago, a children's book series popped into my head. I sat down and wrote five stories within hours.

Currently, I am an employee of Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati. In October of 2011, I encountered some guests of the house with twin daughters. One of the twins has undergone countless surgeries and has some visible scars, etc. While talking with the girls one afternoon, I realized that these stories I had written a few years ago could really make a difference.

Thus, the book series, Something Different Books, was born. The first book of the series, "There's Something Different About My Hair," made it's debut in a very special way: Joey Votto from the Cincinnati Reds came to Ronald McDonald House and read it to the families. It was a full-circle moment to see it come to life for the first time.

Since the book was published, I have been able to use it to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati as well as other charities and individuals around the world. Recently, I worked with three young cancer patients from Oklahoma to raise money and copies of my book to send to the Jimmy Everest Center. The girls wanted all kids being treated at the hospital to have a copy. We are proud to say that, with the help of people across 5 countries, 60 books were raised in just a few days and sent to the JEC in Oklahoma to bring some smiles.

When people ask me where I went to College, I proudly say the University Of Cincinnati. I worked hard and put a lot of time and energy into getting the most out of my education. However, you can only get out of it what the professors and faculty put in - and I feel that at UC, it's 110%. I'm grateful for my four years with UC. Thank you!

For more information, visit http://www.somethingdifferentbooks.com. A percentage of the proceeds from every book sold will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Greater Cincinnati - my home away from home.

Check out this video and article from Local 12 and this article from UC Magazine about Sarah's work!