Two years ago, I self-published "Why Does Mommy Hurt? Helping Children Cope with Having a Caregiver with Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, or Autoimmune Disease?" It was a long process, taking almost a year of planning, writing, illustrations (by my father James Miller), and fundraising through Kickstarter. On Mothers Day 2014, the book was published and became available to the world through Amazon.com. Much to my surprise, it quickly became a best seller in its category (Chronic Pain and "Children: difficult issues," and I started receiving passionate thank you letters and emails from parents and children all over the world.
I decided to write the book for my son, Jimmy, who was 3 at the time. After talking to a few friends who also had chronic pain, I realized that there was potential for the book to help some of the millions of families going through the extreme challenge of raising children while suffering from a chronic illness. I had no idea the impact it would have, or the wonderful path I'd soon embark on: writing and speaking about self-advocacy, guilt and shame, and building up the parenting-with-pain community.
In the past two years, I've been contacted for interviews by dozens of newspapers, blogs, and organizations to speak about issues and concerns related to parenting with chronic illness. I also presented at two conferences; the National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain "TAP" conference in Washington DC, and the Hemophilia Federation of America's symposium in Las Vegas. I've met hundreds of wonderful, strong, and dedicated families, practitioners, and non-profit organizations, and been introduced to a massive community of parents with chronic illness.
I started off on this journey in 2007, feeling very alone, struggling to get through each day. I now am part of a wonderful community of parents, and can't wait to continue my work on writing, speaking, and working to help support families dealing with chronic illness!
|Author and Illustrator, HFA Symposium Las Vegas, 2016|