Liam Wilson, a Kindergarten student from Sam Sherratt Public School in Milton, has published a book at the age of 5 about what it’s like to live with Cystic Fibrosis (CF).
Using the metaphor of a tree, the book, Liam, Strong as a Tree, takes the reader through what it is like for Liam to need oxygen and medication to remain healthy.
When asked how it feels to be an accomplished author, Liam says, “I love it; It feels amazing”.
The book was launched virtually during an online release event earlier this spring and included well-known celebrities such as former NHLer Doug Gilmour.
Cystic Fibrosis is a disorder that causes damage to the lungs, digestive system and other organs in the body.
Liam’s mom, Deana, says she is so proud of her son’s willingness to share his condition to support others who also live with it.
“This is a dark subject matter and it is very hard to speak about Cystic Fibrosis especially for young children, but the book is truly amazing and tells the story perfectly so everyone who reads it can understand what Liam and other children with CF go through daily,” Deana says. “Everyone who knows him just falls in love with him! He lights everyone’s life up. He takes it all in stride with a huge smile on his face and never lets CF get him down.”
Liam and Deana hope the book brings more awareness to Cystic Fibrosis and how to manage it.
“All we ever want is more awareness for Cystic Fibrosis,” she says. “We wanted to make it easier for everyone to understand why Liam needs his mask sometimes at school or why he needs to take his Enzymes before his meals or snacks, so this book explains it perfectly.”
Maggie Parker, principal at Sam Sherratt PS, says Liam is “ray of sunshine” at school and his book will help a lot of people in a similar situation.
“In writing this book, Liam has helped many of our students and children in the community understand what it is like to live with CF and what some of the challenges are for Liam,” Parker says. “Liam and his mom are such a great example of how to advocate for student needs and help others understand in a positive way, which makes others want to listen, learn and help! They have not let this challenge be a barrier in their lives, instead they use it to help show and help others.”
Several staff members from Sam Sherratt Public School attended the virtual book launch to support Liam, Parker says.
“We will have copies of his book in our classrooms, and I suspect if I know Liam he will help us share his story in class with his classmates. At Sam Sherratt, we have 11 self-contained classes, with many children who have a number of exceptionalities, so sharing stories in our school about barriers and challenges gives a voice to many of our students.”
Liam, Strong as a Tree
can be found on Amazon