Special Delivery is devoted to easing the suffering of families in grief.
As a family who has been through a loss, we offer with our deepest sympathies an online community and various resources for those who experience at-risk pregnancies and births.
One unique tool that we gift to families and organizations that support them is the Special Delivery children’s book. This story is non-religious and fully-illustrated with babies of multiple skin tones. It provides a universal visual guide that parents may use to talk about possible health conditions of a newborn, especially if the baby spends some time in the NICU or passes away. Each page is a springboard to discuss facts, feelings and questions.
The words are written in a compassionate and thoughtful prose that is uplifting and appropriate for children (and adults) of all ages. The author intentionally wrote the concept of death without specificity as to what happens after death, to allow each family to weave in their own belief system. The book also doubles as a memorial and a keepsake: the back cover is a self-standing picture frame.
We are honored to help.
—Melissa Tioleco-Cheng | Executive & Creative Director
—Melanie Tioleco-Cheng, MD | Author & Director of Distribution
—Diana Cheng Scheible | Director of Public Relations
One sleepless October night in 2008, Melanie Tioleco-Cheng wrote the words of Special Delivery as a way of telling her first-born daughter about her special pregnancy. As a physician, she knew exactly what having trisomy 18 meant for her second child, Macy, and even more about the issues her heart and lung problems posed. But, how do you say that to a two-year old? How do you talk about what to expect in the hospital? How do you tell children about a baby who will not live a normal or even, long life?
As a mother, Melanie found her solution: write a book to use as a launching pad to discuss complex subjects such as different kinds of newborns, trisomies, high risk pregnancies, and even the possible death of a baby. Much like the road to meeting Macy, the production and distribution of Special Delivery has been a whole family endeavor. Melanie’s twin sister, Melissa Tioleco-Cheng designed and illustrated Special Delivery so that it could be read to Melanie’s daughter. For Macy’s funeral, they printed a handful of board books for young guests. Melissa’s creative firm, Rise-and-Shine Studio, later competed for and won a Sappi Ideas that Matter Grant that enabled mass publishing and worldwide distribution of books to families and grief support groups. Their younger sister, Diana Cheng Scheible, rounds off the team with her PR background to raise awareness and help with sustainability of the project.
The following hospitals and organizations have joined our mission to comfort families in grief. They use the Special Delivery book in their work and distribute copies to the families they serve: