Wednesday, January 6, 2016

MCADD Children's Book!

Yes, you read that correctly!  There is now a children's book about MCADD available on Amazon!! - Max the Monkey Has MCADD!

Nearly a year ago, we were very stressed out and struggling to get our two-year old with MCADD to eat much of anything. Every meal was a challenge,.  Nearly all of our plates were hurled off our dining room table and broken - it was just awful! It went beyond simple two-year-old pickiness for us because we knew how important regular meals were to managing our son's MCADD. I tried reading lots of children's books I found at the library about why our bodies need good food, but was really longing for something that started a conversation with him about why his body is special and REALLY needs food. I approached Laurie Bernstein and Joanna Helm (just two of the many amazing staff members in the metabolic clinic at Children's Hospital Colorado) about writing a children's book about MCADD to help my family and others like us. They loved the idea and last spring/summer, we wrote Max the Monkey has MCADD.

We started reading the book (an early draft printed out at home and stapled together) with our son last summer just after he had turned three and it instantly made a difference. He now has words that help him understand MCADD on his level and he seems to have a much better understanding of why he needs to eat often in order to have enough energy, just like Max does in the book. Our five-year old son (unaffected) has also really benefited from the book. We no longer have the argument at bedtime about why his little brother gets a snack and he doesn't. He knows that his brother needs it because he has MCADD. Now he helps us make his brother's snack and encourages him to eat right along with my husband and me!

Fast forward to today and we have completed the publication process! Now any family can buy a book that explains MCADD in kid-friendly terms, written in engaging verse and accompanied by beautiful illustrations and yummy recipes. It can be delivered to your door in as little as one day and hopefully you can be spared the months of mealtime stress we had when we were struggling to explain a wildly complicated condition to our toddler. Words cannot express how exciting this is to me and how proud I am to have been part of this!

Thank you to Laurie, Joanna, Children's Colorado and The Gene Team who supported this project (The Gene Team bikes hundreds of miles through the Rocky Mountains every summer to raise money to support projects that help the families in the Genetics and Inherited Metabolic Diseases Clinic at Children's Hospital Colorado and beyond). The book is beautiful in so many ways and would not have been possible without you!

Please consider ordering one for your family and maybe even order an extra copy to take along to your next metabolic appointment that can be passed on to a family just receiving an MCADD diagnosis with their infant. How cool would that be if every new MCADD baby got to bring home a book!