Mother's book raises awareness of invisible illnesses
A mother has written a book to raise awareness of invisible illnesses in children.
Gail Crampton, 53, from Wombourne, wrote the book, Rodney Meadow-Hopper the hare who didn't care, to encourage children to speak out and be honest about how they are feeling after her daughter Isabelle, 13, struggled with Crohn's Disease.
Gail said: "My daughter was very poorly from the age of six-years-old, rapid weight loss and lots of pain, I thought she was going to die at one point.
"I wouldn't want anyone else to go what we have been through.
"After countless doctors appointments and misdiagnoses, she was finally diagnosed with Crohn's aged 10 and referred to Birmingham Children's Hospital, but there is still a lot of misunderstanding.
"She is in remission now, although that doesn't mean it has gone away, and it has massively infringed on her life and we felt for a number of years we hadn't been listened to."
The tale follows the story of a hare who doesn't speak about how he is feeling and becomes isolated from his friends, he eventually tells them about his problems with an invisible illness and begins to get help and support from them.
Gail added: "The book's angle is to get children to speak about how they really feel. A lot of the time I think they internalise this as they don't want to worry parents, and the book encourages them to be honest and truthful.
"A lot of conditions encourage people to be brave, I think that is harmful and unfair you should be able to cry and get upset, children shouldn't be labelled as warriors. It is braver to be honest about how you feel."
Gail's book is also raising awareness for and supporting CIRCA, a charity which helps children with Crohn's.
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