A FIRST-time children’s author from Birmingham in the UK has written a book to empower young people with sickle cell.
Jenica Leah Gregory, 27, who was diagnosed with sickle cell in childhood, remembers growing up embarrassed by the life-limiting condition.
She felt inspired to write her self-published book, My Friend Jen, to fill a gap in the market after experiencing a childhood with no available books that featured children like her.
The top-rated book, which tells the story of four-year-old Jen and how she stays well with sickle cell, is told by Jen’s best friend Tommy as he outlines the fun they have together.
He gently highlights the measures Jen must take in order to stay fit and healthy during her sickle cell journey.
Jenica said: “I wanted to raise more awareness of sickle cell and to give children with this condition the peace of mind that I did not have growing up.
“When I was a child I was embarrassed about my condition and I did not understand why I was always in hospital. The children at school would question why I was off sick and I would make excuses, simply because I struggled to explain what I was suffering from.”
She said the book provides answer to children who face “the problems I faced”.
She added: “It empowers children with sickle cell to understand their condition, how to stay well and how to live a full life. And it empowers their friends to understand the condition too.”
Jenica has plans of writing a series of books under the My Friend Jen title with the aim of inspiring all children with sickle cell to be brave, strong and smile often.
For more information, visit: http://myfriendjen.co.uk
WORDS: Rykesha Hudson