Tantor Media today released Soar, Adam, Soar, an audiobook telling Adam Prashaw’s inspiring story on his gender journey home “to the boy in the mirror”, his epilepsy, tragic death, and saving four lives as an organ donor. (Order information at end of story)
One of those four lives is the audiobook’s narrator, John Dickhout, now an actor, and Adam’s heart recipient.
"I wear his Superman ring Adam's Mom gave me,” Dickhout said from his Aldershot home near Hamilton in Ontario. “Adam was a huge Batman - and Superman – fan. She told me it was his favorite ring. And, while he didn't set out to be one, for me, there could be no greater superhero."
How Dickhout became the book’s narrator, how he even knows his donor, is the story behind the story.
Dickhout woke up from his transplant surgery Jan. 25, 2016, determined to know his donor. After a first exchange of anonymous letters with Rick Prashaw and Suzanne Corbeil, Adam’s parents in Ottawa, clever sleuthing and a fake Facebook page he called “Heart Recipient” led Dickhout to Prashaw, They became good friends, Prashaw shaking his head at the curse that Dickhout cheers for Adam’s Montreal Canadiens hockey team, Ottawa’s archrival.
Using 125 of Adam’s wild Facebook posts, Prashaw deputized his late son as co-author to write Soar, Adam, Soar (Dundurn Press, 2019).
“From early childhood, through coming out first as a lesbian and then as a man, and his battles with epilepsy and refusal to give in” reads Tantor’s book synopsis, “Soar, Adam, Soar chronicles Adam Prashaw's drive to define himself, his joyful spirit, and his love of life, which continues to conquer all.”
"When it became clear that we could not have the miracle we wished, we stepped back and let other miracles occur,” Prashaw wrote. “We want to honour the wishes of our son..."
Prashaw was holidaying in California when he received" the worse call of his life", the news that Adam was found in a hot tub after a seizure. Driving her brother to an airport to join a weekend bedside vigil, his sister, Pati Prashaw, a nurse living in California, said to him “Hon, we want the best for Adam, that he be well. But if it is not to be, he is a young man with healthy organs. I am sure he wants others to have this gift from him.”
When the audiobook deal was signed, Prashaw knew who should audition to be the voice.
“John is perfect. His golden attitude is infectious. Adam was so positive despite many hardships. We still grieve but the grief chases gratitude too. It’s bittersweet, but I am not bitter nor cynical.”
Dickhout confessed excitement and nerves seeing the audiobook released.
“Soar, Adam, Soar is such a significant book and special "love story" and means so much - and so many different things - to so many people, I worry that my interpretation of your, and Adam's words cannot possibly do it justice...”
Dickhout and Prashaw returned to California in 2019 for the short doc premiere, A Racing Heart, at the San Luis Obispo Film Festival. The doc captures Dickhout’s post-transplant race to honour Adam and his new health. In late 2020, the two new friends collaborated on the Gifts of Life podcast telling their heart transplant story from the donor and recipient sides.
• CBC Books (Canada Broadcasting Corporation) Spring 2019 Non-Fiction List #3
• American Libraries
• Ingram Publishing, June 2019 Pride Catalogue (USA)
• Library Journal (starred review)
• Girly Book Club 2020 5-star review
• After The Podcast Ends, Heather Down, July 2015
“Your story...Adam's story is incredibly rich and very moving. From the first page, I felt I knew your voice, like that of an old friend. Through your personal experience, you help us see what it means to be a father, a son, a priest, an actor, a MAN. It is powerful material through which we examine love, family, gender, sexuality, illness, and spirituality...LIFE (with a heavy dose of cosmic irony...thank you for that.) Like any great piece of drama, this story deserves to be heard by a huge audience."
Ernest Zulia, director, playwright,
(adaptation of Robert Fulgham's, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten")
“Rick Prashaw, Adam's father, celebrates life in this moving memoir – joined, in a sense, by Adam himself, whose musings and social-media posts enrich the narrative. The result is both specific and universal.”
Michael Cart, American Libraries
“Prashaw's compassionate, authentic, and wise words make this a powerful contribution to the emerging genre of transgender life writing.”
“A remarkable story by a remarkable father.”
Tomson Highway, author/artist
“This book is a love story. Plain and simple. A love story that, I believe, everybody needs to read, especially if you are parent. Soar, Adam, Soar also has funny moments, light moments, beautiful moments, and I-can’t-believe-that-really-happened moments. It is loving, uplifting, a piece of humanity that transcends things of this earth.”
Heather Down, After The Book Ends podcast