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Why Our New Book Will Benefit Pediatric Cancer Research

We knew we wanted to make a difference. We knew the V Foundation was the right place, again. And we knew that people would fall in love with our dog if given the chance. Meet Phoebe, the star of our new book “MVP: Most Valuable Puppy,” a children’s picture book filled with fun and beautiful art, and the best part is that one hundred percent of our proceeds are being donated to the V Foundation to help fight pediatric cancer.

The story takes place partly in our home, where Phoebe discovers sports by watching “the man in the box,” aka Greeny, on television, and then imparts the lessons she learns on a group of kids she meets in the park, playing soccer and football. By her side is “The Girl With The Curly Hair,” modeled after our daughter. We specifically wanted the story to depict a little girl learning to play and love sports. Kirkus Reviews mentioned exactly that in its review of “MVP,” calling “the female dog and female main character a rare and welcome pairing.” The same review says our book “scores a touchdown with this groundbreaking pairing of a sports-minded girl and her dog.”

We are very proud of that element of the story, and hope that girls and boys alike will enjoy the book.

The story of this project actually dates back nine years, to when our dear friend Heidi Armitage was diagnosed with breast cancer that had spread to her bones. That was in February of 2009. She died on September 30 of that year. In her memory, we released a novel, All You Could Ask For, in April of 2013, and simultaneously established our foundation, “Heidi’s Angels.” Through this foundation, we have donated one hundred percent of our proceeds from the novel to the V Foundation to combat breast cancer. To date, we have raised $150,000 from that book.

In recent years, pictures of our dog Phoebe began to receive a good deal of attention and positive reaction on Stacy’s Instagram feed, and thus was born the idea for a children’s book that would carry on the mission of Heidi’s Angels. At around the same time, Dick Vitale asked Greeny to be an honoree at his Gala for the V Foundation, which we consider to be one of the greatest honors we have ever received. In that spirit, and because we knew Heidi would approve, we made the decision to use the proceeds from this project to combat pediatric cancer; Dick’s passion for this cause is inspiring, and it is, after all, a book for children.

So, that is the story of how “MVP: Most Valuable Puppy” came to be. We thank all our friends and colleagues at the V Foundation and across ESPN who have been so encouraging. Most of all, we thank all of you who choose to buy the book and support our mission, with the promise that every penny we receive will be used to fight pediatric cancer. And, oh yes, Phoebe thanks you too.

Learn more about “MVP: Most Valuable Puppy”