Author: Mary Jo Nickum
Publisher: Chalet Publishers, LLC
ISBN: 978-098408365-7

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Mom’s Story is a quick and easy read. It is a story about a nine-year-old child who learns that her mother has Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The book delves into the processes involved from the first symptoms to a diagnosis, all while depicting the main character’s emotions and reactions as well as those of her siblings. The family goes from the initial fear that is common when a loved one is diagnosed with MS, to learning about the illness.  Knowledge about MS helps a great deal to alleviate those initial fears.

While the child is learning about MS, Nickum cleverly weaves tidbits of information on how online help can be found for those interested in learning about MS. In addition to this, at the end of the book the author included a section titled Information Resources for Families. These pages contain sources of additional information in the form of websites, books, videos, and DVDs that help aid in the understanding of MS.

The education doesn’t end there though, there are a number of other features in Mom’s Story that help with a child’s understanding of MS. With simplicity, Nickum incorporates the pronunciation of technical words associated with MS into the story. Words such as optic neuritis (op-tik nur-I’-tis), and demyelination (dee-mi-lin-A’-shun) are written again in parenthesis breaking the word down for easy pronunciation. This is a wonderful tool for children and adults as some of the words are difficult to pronounce. The author also included a glossary. Words such as Central Nervous System (CNS), MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), and Myelin are explained in a manner that children will be able to comprehend.

In addition to this, Nickum included pages for Facts about MS, Types of MS, Symptoms of MS, and What is an MRI? The Symptoms page is actually the only aspect of the book that I questioned – the symptoms of MS didn’t include fatigue which is a very common complaint with MS sufferers. She did, however, mention it in the story itself.

Mom’s Story is a 74 page book that walks a child, through the voice of a nine-year-old, on the path of understanding MS. As a sufferer of MS, I know that any life altering and disabling chronic illness is difficult to deal with, for the patient and their family. Nickum has managed to provide a very informative and engaging book that handles a complex subject matter very well with easy to understand content. I highly recommend Mom’s Story – A Child Learns About MS.

About the Author: Mary J. Nickum is an editor and freelance writer. She was diagnosed with Ms in 1989 and lives with her husband in Fountain Hills, AZ.

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