Longview business owner Kaylie Dollison knows what a challenge feels like.
“Dealing with morning sickness during first period is hard,” she said last week, sitting in the spray-tan business she started more than two years ago in the Pine Tree area of Longview called Mermaid Lagoon. “I graduated (from high school) eight months pregnant.”
Dollison turned 30 in February, having survived teen pregnancy, drug abuse, bullying and an outlook that did not look rosy when she became pregnant her senior year at White Oak High School. Her story of accomplishment is being told in a book of 13 stories of women who overcame obstacles.
“My story is about being bullied and assaulted and drug problems and being a teen mom,” Dollison said. “It was hard. I wasn’t the only pregnant person (in my class), but I’m the only one that stayed and graduated. Everyone expected me to drop out.”
“When She Rises,” available on Amazon, celebrates women who overcame a terrorist attack, a mother’s suicide and other obstacles.
Compiled by Tiffany Skirrow, the book benefits a charity called One Woman at a Time that fights abuses against women such as forced marriage and genital mutilation.
The book also is supported by the television series “The Real Housewives of Cheshire” and will bring Dollison and her husband, Eric, to England for a Friday launch party.
“I know it’s a big party,” she said, “All the proceeds go to ... One Woman at a Time. That’s all I want to do in life, is help as many women as I possibly can.”
Dollison plans to play the tourist while the couple are overseas.
“I want to go see Buckingham Palace,” she said, lamenting that Big Ben is under renovation. “I would love to get a glimpse of the queen. That’s my top priority. My husband has never left the country, so I’m super excited.”
Dollison found her way into the book through Facebook — and prayer.
“I sent her an email and told her my story,” she said of Skirrow. “I got an email instantly back. She said, ‘You’re story sounds a lot like mine.’ I wrote my entire chapter myself. They edited my horribly spelled words and punctuation. That was it.”
Dollison and her husband married Jan. 31, 2009, and are parents to two boys and two girls, including the son Dollison had with another man her senior year in high school.
“I hope that women that read the book will kind of hear parts of their own story in it, and look back and think whatever they’ve gone through in the past does not define who you are or who you were,” she said. “My goal with my girls is to make them the strongest, kind of kick-butt people out there.”