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Mum's book hopes to get children talking

By Emily Tucknott | December 30, 2019

A mum whose daughter has Crohn's disease has written a children's book to encourage young people experiencing illness to talk about their emotions and feelings.

Gail Crampton's daughter Isabelle became unwell when she was six-years-old and after four years of misdiagnosis was diagnosed with Crohn's disease.

The mum, from South Staffordshire, UK, has produced the book Rodney Meadow-Hopper, The Hare Who Didn't Care (but he did really) with the help of her daughter and artist Megan Pugh.

"I was inspired to write Rodney after witnessing my daughter's and other childrens' reactions to adults and various health professions. I wanted to encourage children to express their feelings and be honest about their emotions.

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"My own daughter was diagnosed with Crohn's disease but was misdiagnosed for nearly four years before that. I know there were many times that she tried to say the right thing because she didn't want to worry us or she wanted us to stop asking."

Gail has funded the production of Rodney Meadow-Hopper herself and it hasn't all been plain sailing. The original artist for the book backed out at the last minute, after Gail had found a publisher and started promoting the book in the media. However, soon after Gail connected with 21-year-old artist Megan via Instagram.

"Megan has worked like a dream. In literally seven weeks she produced all the art work. She is primarily a felt artist but she is also an amazing animal illustrator from the Forest of Dean. She herself is partially sighted and has other invisible illnesses. I was beyond lucky to find her," Gail said.

Through the sales of the book, after recouping her own costs, she is hoping to donate some money to charity - particularly CICRA, a charity close to her heart.

She is also hoping to spread some very important messages through the book: "My wish is for Rodney to be used as a talking tool to try and gently get children to open up about what may be bothering them, and they can see that it was fine for Rodney when he admitted he was scared.

"I hope Rodney can spread the word from a very young age that it's OK not to be OK."

Rodney Meadow-Hopper is available to buy on Etsy or directly from Gail via email. It is priced £9.50, which includes UK postage and packaging. You can also email Gail for more information about the book and international delivery.

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Emily Tucknott

Co-founder IBDrelief

Medical writer and content producer.

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