Mom’s Story; A Child Learns About MS tells the story of a young girl who sees her mother with some frightening health problems and learns she has MS but she will not die from it. This book is a compassionate, accessible and easy to understand account of symptoms, search for help, diagnosis and adaptation to this heart-wrenching disease. Amy fears the worst, which is common when one is confronted by the unknown. Her best friend, Kayla, doesn’t quite understand why Amy is so worried. Amy’s older sister, Kelly is concerned and does her best to help, while older brother, Tony, tries to deny the whole situation. Information is the key to allaying much of her fear along with understanding from parents, adult friends and her older sister.
An Interview with Mary Nickum
Why did you write this book? I wrote the book to help demystify some of the fearsome events a child might experience when a parent begins to have symptoms of MS. They can be frightening—parent falling, dropping things, slurred speech and many others.
What was the hardest part? The hardest part of writing this book was reducing the technical explanations of this disease to a vocabulary that children 8-11 would understand. In this effort I was careful not to mislead or make an out-and-out error in fact. To be sure about this, I asked my neurologist to read and review it for accuracy, which he did.
What was easiest or most fun? The most fun was developing the characters, especially Tony. I have two sons, and at 11 going on 12, thinking back, I could “hear” Tony.
What do you hope people get from your book? I hope people will find information and solace in the book. Being diagnosed with MS is a life-changing event. Information is the key to allaying fear in adults and children.
How do you want to be remembered as an author? As an author, I want to be remembered for the accuracy and forthright telling of my stories.
What's next for you? I now have three picture books awaiting publishers’ decisions. I also have an e-zine article under publisher review. I’m considering writing books on the immune system for ages 8-11.