Stevenage author celebrates success of first book based on inspirational son
PUBLISHED: 08:30 09 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:39 18 February 2019
A mother-of-two who was inspired by her son’s rare medical condition to write and publish her own book has sold nearly 600 copies in just one week.
Gemma Keir, who lives in Stevenage, is a devoted mum to six-year-old Logan and four-year-old Caleb. Logan was born with a rare condition called DiGeorge syndrome - also known as 22q11.2 deletion syndrome - which is caused by the deletion of a small segment of chromosome 22.
Symptoms often include congenital heart problems, specific facial features, frequent infections, developmental delay, learning problems and cleft palate.
Gemma, 28, has written her first book, The Abilities in Me, which explores the life of a young boy with 22q through bright, colourful illustrations and text, aimed at raising awareness of the condition and teaching children how to be supportive and kind.
Gemma went into Logan’s class at The Giles Nursery and Infants’ School in Stevenage on Monday to speak to children about the condition, read her book to them, and give them each a copy to keep.
She said: “The school visit was incredible. The kids were so fun and learnt so much about disabilities and having a child like Logan in class.
“I spoke about inclusion and our differences and similarities. They asked lots of questions and told me what they like about Logan. They were really engaged and wanted to learn.”
The Abilities in Me book is the first in a series, with Gemma set to write a further three this year, focussing this time on heart defects, autism, and a special Christmas book which will see superhero children help out Santa after he loses his elves.
She said: “Each book will feature a child with a condition, and we aim to create a bright, colourful and positive outlook on every child with special needs.
“We are all unique and beautiful in every way, shape and form. This collection of books will show how each child can celebrate their abilities within their disability, find acceptance and create awareness to those around them.”
Gemma has sold nearly 600 copies of the book since it was published at the end of January, with reviews coming in from as far away as Australia and America.
The Abilities in Me book is available on Amazon, priced £9.99.