By JOSH EMMONS Beth Perry MICHELLE GREEN
November 16, 2009 12:00 PM

>• In Notes Left Behind, Keith and Brooke Desserich chronicle their daughter’s battle with brain cancer—and share the notes 6-year-old Elena hid in the house for them before she died.

WHY DO THIS BOOK?

It’s a journal for [Elena’s sister] Gracie, showing Gracie who Elena really was.

HOW MANY NOTES DID ELENA LEAVE?

I never counted. You sit down as a parent, and once you get to the third one, you’re crying.

ARE YOU STILL FINDING THEM?

We hadn’t found any for about six months. Then last week, just before Gracie’s seventh birthday, we found a note with “I Love You, Mom and Dad and Grace.” The timing was quite nice.

WHY DO YOU THINK ELENA DID IT?

I think she knew what was going on and the notes had a higher meaning.

WHERE DO THE BOOK’S PROCEEDS GO?

We’re hoping the Cure Starts Now (notesleftbehind .com) can raise millions for research. We’re trying to change the world.

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