With great reward I have been receiving photos of children holding up my books. Their smiles and sentiments of gratitude are the truest payment from perusing one’s passion.
Ottawa/Canada to Colorado/USA
Years ago, after having written all six stories I posted a plea on Facebook looking for an illustrator. Remembering a fellow allergy mom (from the states) whom I had met on a chat forum was an artist I sent a message. Jen answered with the offer for me to forward her my story files to read and she would from there have a final decision.
Not an hour later after Jennifer having read my stories I received a reply that she was whole heartedly on board.
Five years later Jen and I still not only have not met, we have talked on the phone maybe 3 times, never once video chatted as well hardly text. Yet our partnership as our vision is seamless. With only the odd email our entrepreneurship is effective as we share the same passion for the books and as their need and purpose.
To Jennifer, for bringing my stories to life through your incredible illustrations I cannot express enough thanks.
As it takes a village to raise a child it as well takes a community to create ones dream. I have been humbled by help.
I received a high tech helping hand from Syracuse, NY after a late night tearful tirade with his wife on an allergy chat forum that I was having technical troubles.
I was awed when a business man as well allergy dad here in Ottawa offered to pay for the print run of my first two books.
Two years ago an allergy mom unbeknownst to myself contacted Gwen Smith, owner/editor of Allergic Living magazine who overwhelmed me by sponsoring my gas as well hotel so I might travel with my daughter to the anaphylaxis conference in Toronto. With no vendor space available Gwen went as far as to allow me a spot on the Allergic Living Magazine table in which to set up my books.
I was amazed when asked to participate in the CHEO’s (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario) open door event two years ago. To now have my books housed in the hospitals resource library is truly an honor. Recently scrolling twitter I was awed to see a tweet via the CHEO resource library regarding my books. This journey has equally been a test of ingenuity as well that of patience and perseverance. Such moments remind me although momentous, I can as well I am slowly finding my way in this business of books.
I wish to also extend my truest of thanks to Peter Ausland of Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine for his incredible act of generosity which allowed me to participate in this past fall's Parenting Times Magazine Children's Expo.
To Mireille Schwartz a huge thank you, for your kindness and friendship. My gratitude to you as well the Bay Area Allergy Advisory Board for sharing some of my writings as well to your community for voting me in the top 5 of allergy books. To have you mention my books in now two of your published books I thank you sincerely. When Your Child Has Food Allergies
I have had endless encouragement and swarms of supporters as I persist in the pursuit of my passion.
For the years of support and encouragement from all who believed in me, and my little books, I wish to extend my sincere gratitude. As the series moves forward into completion I am excited to see how the path of my passion is yet to unfold.
To Be A Nut Or Not! To Be A Nut Or Not transpired for two reasons!
The first was as an allergy parent I am constantly looking for creative ways to teach my son what foods to avoid- all the while fully avoiding them. A task particularly challenging with tree nuts as they vary greatly in both name and appearance ,whole and again shelled.
A conversation I find myself having time and time again brought about the second reason for this book, the misconception between that of a peanut and... tree nut. Many have asked me what does it matter and what’s the big deal anyway. Well, it’s this! Although an allergy parent has learned that ‘free’ of one doesn’t necessarily mean ‘free’ from the other, a well intentioned caregiver or relative might. And in assuming peanuts and tree nuts are one of the same - therein lies an issue of great concern .
To Be A Nut Or Not is a fun story providing a safe manner in which to teach what tree nuts look like as well as answering the question just what *IS* a peanut!
My Immune System Needs Glasses! With an intergalactic twist My Immune System Needs Glasses helps answer the question ‘How do allergic reactions happen?”. Author and allergy mom Michelle Nel is not unfamiliar with the questions, controversy, thoughts and theories surrounding allergies.... Avoiding the contention of causes and cures Michelle’s objective in My Immune System Needs Glasses was to focus solely on explaining the process of ‘how’ of allergic reactions happen while avoiding the contention of ‘why’.
There Are No B-List Allergies! This book takes a celebrity vantage point to emphasize that although (in the US and Canada) there are priority allergens, less common allergies are equal in severity and therefore should be treated with alike considerations. Michelle's son Nolan has five anaphylactic food allergies, not all being priority allergens. Michelle wrote this book to share awareness that be it a gelatin or peanut allergy each requires equal care as well is deserving of the same courtesies.
Michelle and Jenny are pleased to announce the upcoming release of their fourth book Fall 2016. In this book the assistance is summoned of an allergy aficionado to clarify the conundrum of cross contamination, the relevance of reading ingredient lists, the tangibility of trace as well the significance behind the statement, may contain. With the fifth and sixth book being written Michelle and Jenny hope to have them illustrated and completing the series of six in print by Spring 2017.
As a single as well special needs mom I have yes struggled, but I equally have found much goodness and kindness upon the journey. I do not believe in disabilities, only that there are different abilities. As well I have learned from my son that there is so much beauty to be found when viewing life from outside the box.
Living life true to oneself is the most important lesson I wish to instill in my children. Books, butterflies and now bikes...I am living and will continue to live, my bucket list.
Michelle began writing in hopes of providing a fun yet informative manner in which to share allergy information. Her son Nolan since infancy has had eczema, asthma, multiple anaphylactic food allergies as well as multiple environmental allergies. Michelle's son also has autism, ADHD and a severe language delay. Michelle sees not disabilities but celebrates different abilities and sees the beauty found in thinking outside the box!
Jennifer Terry is a graphic designer/illustrator living in Denver, Colorado, USA. Her daughter, Lauren, is a middle school student, active in musical theatre, who also happens to have anaphylactic food allergies.
Inspired by Lauren Jennifer shares her whimsical art on the pages of these books, in an effort to help make learning about food allergies fun for children, parents, teachers and caregivers.