INDEPENDENT NEWS

A new picture book to inspire sick children

Published: Tue 25 Aug 2009 03:18 PM
A new picture book has been written to inspire sick children
A picture book telling the story of a Christchurch boy’s fight for life has been written to inspire other sick children.
In 2006 Jaxon Skews’ parents Aaron and Michelle found him grey and struggling for breath. He was flown to Starship Hospital where a specialist diagnosed him with a rare condition called Chronic Granulomatous Disorder. The disease targets the immune system and leaves the body vulnerable to infections.
At the time Jaxon was only the sixth child in New Zealand to suffer from the condition. Jaxon also had a rare blood condition called McLeod Phenotype, which only affects a handful of people worldwide.
Jaxon underwent two years of operations, which meant both parents had to stop work to stay with him in Auckland. This caused huge financial stress .
Joy Butel, a family friend, was so upset by this she headed a fundraising campaign to help.
Fundraising for Jaxon changed his life and was also a life changing experience for Ms Butel who has now made it a life mission to encourage other people to give.
The experience inspired her to create a picture book depicting the journey to Jaxon’s recovery called Jaxon is the Star. Five dollars from every book sold will be donated to Ronald McDonald House where Jaxon’s parents spent so much time when he was sick.
Ronald McDonald House also has a special significance for Ms Butel because her own daughter spent time there when a family member was sick.
“I wanted to give something back to acknowledge all the people that gave so much to Jaxon,” she said.
Books will be available for families to read at Ronald McDonald House.
“ If this book inspires a sick child to have hope or encourages someone to help a friend in need then it has done its job,” Ms Butel said.
The book tells the story of Jaxon’s recovery, how Ms Butel raised the money, and how he became well again.
The first books will go on sale at Ballantynes on September 23 at a fundraising fashion parade for Ronald McDonald House. Books will also be available from selected Christchurch book shops and sold online at www. pay-it-forward.co.nz; or www.jaxon.co.nz
ENDS

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