West Orange grad writes book, starts Warrior foundation

Heather Fuhrer Fallon has created a nonprofit aimed at assisting graduates and former staff of West Orange High School who are facing a financial need based on injury, illness or loss.

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After Heather Fuhrer Fallon’s divorce was final, she had to find a way to financially support herself and her children. Writing had been a part of the West Orange High School graduate’s life since she was a member of the school’s newspaper and yearbook staffs — so she became an author.

Fallon has written a series of six books about her son and his severe ADHD and the lengths she has gone to in raising her son to be the best version of himself. The first book, “The Jake Chronicles,” shares blog-like stories of learning to live with and raise a son with the disorder, including the story of how the ginger ale can ended up in the swimming pool and why he and his sisters said no to any possible future liver transplants for each other.

"The Jake Chronicles" tells many stories of Heather Fallon's experiences with her son.

“His brain is completely different than his older sister's,” Fallon said. “Everything had to be a negotiation. … If he didn’t want to do something, he’d dig his heels in. (He struck deals) like he’s 35 years old.”

One of Fallon’s favorite Jake stories took place before church, when he didn’t want to wear a hand-me-down rugby shirt. He refused to get out of the car because the shirt was “stupid, boring and ugly.”

He only went into church after Fallon made a deal with him that she would give him a dollar for every person who said the shirt was stupid, ugly or boring. Only one woman commented, and it was to say she liked the shirt.

“He had this thing where he was in ‘control’ of every situation, but sadly he was not,” Fallon said. “He just thought he was. His ADHD was so severe that he used to attach feelings to clothes. He’s like, ‘My stuffies are sad today.’ … He attached emotions to stuff, and he wouldn’t throw anything away. He was like a hoarder.”

She considered ADHD medication, but she didn’t want to “medicate away the Jake in him.”

“The Jake Chronicles” covers age 3 through 5, a time in which he had not formally been diagnosed.

“You had no idea what was going to come out of that boy’s mouth,” she said.       

Fallon has been a staunch advocate for her son his entire life. When his school didn’t give him an IEP after he tested for the gifted program or protect him from bullies, she said, his mother withdrew him and enrolled him at Real Life Christian Academy. Jake, now 17, also began taking medication for ADHD, which took away his “Jakeness,” Fallon said, but he still has his sense of humor.

Fallon is self-publishing this book and has been promoting it on a Kickstarter crowdfunding platform that ends April 19. The softcover, 244-page book was released in e-book format in December, and it reached No. 3 in sales in the humor essay genre, she said.

At the end of the campaign, all the money will pay for printing costs for an expanded “The Jake Chronicles.” Chapter titles include “When science should not be tried at home,” “Turkey boycott,” “I don’t have a mouth in my head” and “Pickle ankle.”

When the book is published, Fallon and Jake are going to sign every book and hand deliver them to people in Central Florida who pre-order.

“The Jake Chronicles” is $25, which includes free shipping. For an extra $5, a book will be donated to libraries, schools and support groups.

To order the book, use the email address [email protected] on the Paypal account or visit facebook.com/CaptainJakeSparrow1.

Fallon said has enough Jake stories to publish six books, and she said she will introduce one every year, J.K. Rowling style. Future book titles are “Car Line Chronicles” and “Life with Stache,” a tribute to the small mustache Jake grew when the two were roommates.

“I dreamed a dream at 15, and it’s coming true,” Fallon said.



Fallon’s desire to write means another book is in the works. She has been wanting to write about West Orange High School and its history — plus the Class of 1988’s experiences in their three years of high school.

She is calling the book “We Are Warrior” — singular because “we are one,” she says of her classmates and all Warriors. She is co-authoring the book with another classmate, Dr. Aaron Shaw, who also taught social studies at WOHS for two years.

On the first day of 10th grade, she said, she chose to get past her difficult childhood and start over with a clean slate

The 30-year class reunion committee: President Michael Sullivan, Heather Fuhrer Fallon, Dr. Benjamin Lagow, Valerie Dennis, Melissa Cataldo Snapp, Richard Snapp, Shauna Dillon Anstey, Maria Figueroa and Michelle Williams Beck.
The 30-year class reunion committee: President Michael Sullivan, Heather Fuhrer Fallon, Dr. Benjamin Lagow, Valerie Dennis, Melissa Cataldo Snapp, Richard Snapp, Shauna Dillon Anstey, Maria Figueroa and Michelle Williams Beck.

“I believe, with every fiber of my being, that my life began that day,” Fallon said. “I found my footing. I found my friends. I found newspaper. I found yearbook. … It was just magical.”

The Class of 1988 learned in its junior year that Dr. Phillips High was opening the following year — senior year. This meant some of their longtime friends would be leaving West Orange.

“The reality was hitting who we were going to lose: friends and teachers,” Fallon said. “It came fast, and it came loud. And then the bitterness came in.”

In the fall of 1987, many of their classmates chose to attend Dr. Phillips for their senior year, creating a giant hole in the class.

The divide continued until West Orange Class of 1988’s 30-year reunion.

“I was on the committee,” she said. “I said, ‘Y’all, we’re not getting any younger. … Why don’t we extend the olive branch?’ That was the first time that we as a group had seen them as a group. … It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.”

“We Are Warrior” also will take a look at 25 former West Orange students who have gone on to do noteworthy things in their lives.



When “We Are Warrior” is published, Fallon hopes to use that money to fund a nonprofit she started last summer: Warriors4Warriors Foundation Inc. She is founder and president, and three classmates serve with her. Shauna Dillon Anstey is vice president, Rebecca Kenard Hensley is secretary, and Valerie Wofford Provenzano is treasurer.


The organization is incorporated, and Fallon’s goal is to have the book ready to sell at the 35-year reunion next year. All money raised will be donated to the foundation.

The purpose of the nonprofit is to help anyone in need who is associated with West Orange, whether they are a graduate or current or past member of the faculty or staff.

“The basic premise behind the foundation is that we Warriors will contribute our time, talents and treasure to aid or assist other Warriors in their battles,” Fallon said.

Fallon wants the community to view this as an alumni association, and the committee is working on creating a database of Warriors.



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.

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