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5 Books That Every Parent Needs To Help Explain Chronic Illness To A Child (Part 1)

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

I've got some very exciting news to share!

If you have been following me online through tiktok or our facebook support group, you might know that I recently published a children's books that teaches children about autoimmune diseases in a very simple way.

What made me decide to write a book like this?

Well... When I became ill a few years back, I had difficulty explaining my illness to my child. My son didn't understand why I was sick every single day, why I never got better, and why I could not come to the park to play.

This sad experience ultimately led to me writing my own children's book.

Can't read this whole article right now? Pin it for later!

My son, Phoenix, was the inspiration for the book.

In my sickest year, he stood up and became the most compassionate and helpful son I could every imagine. He was four years old at the time.

When I had difficulty walking, he was there.

When I couldn't lift simple things like groceries to the car, he was there.

When I had difficulty walking and placing my dishes into the sink, he was there.

When I was too sick to go outside and enjoy playing outside, he stood by me, and he was there.

Our little humans are incredible superhero's, they help us every single day.

As a note to our readers, my husband was supportive and was my main caregiver, but watching my son step up and become this amazing little helper, just warms my heart!

As a way to give back to our little hero's, we put together a list of children's book that you can share with your son, daughter, niece, nephew or grandchildren.

These stories are not only heartwarming, they also help our children understand what it is like to be an individual with a chronic health condition.

Here are 5 books we recommend for parents of young kids living with a chronic illness: (Part 1)

I'm The Biggest Helper: With Momma's Autoimmune Disease

Author: Heather Yaskiw Foisy

Heather is a chronic illness patient and advocate. Two years ago when she was struggling with debilitating symptoms due to her autoimmune conditions Sjögren's and lupus, she found it difficult to communicate with her 4-year-old son, why she was sick and couldn't play.

As a way to help her son understand her condition, she wrote this book. Her hope is to get this book into the hands of children worldwide to help educate them on autoimmune diseases and invisible illnesses.

About the book:

I'm the Biggest Helper With Momma's Autoimmune Disease is a wonderful picture book aimed at teaching children and parents alike about how autoimmune diseases work in the body in a simplified and easy-to-learn way.

The book features a touching story of all the ways a child can help a mother who has an illness. You’ll be swept away by the charming and heartwarming rhymes about the moments shared by a helpful son to an ill mother.

The story begins with the son who teaches the readers about autoimmune diseases and how they work in the body. He explains how his mother's illnesses (Sjogren’s and lupus) cause pain, but you can’t always see it.

This book explains invisible illnesses in a way a young child can understand.

The son goes on to teach readers about how he’s “The Biggest Helper”, and provides examples of how he helps his momma when she is having a hard day.

Inspired by the author's four-year-old son, who became her biggest helper. I’m The Biggest Helper With Momma's Autoimmune Disease is the perfect book for any parent who lives with Sjogren’s, lupus or any other autoimmune disease.

My Special Butterfly

Author: Kelli Roseta

Kelli was featured as one of our wellness warriors and she shared her story with lupus to our readers. If you missed it, check out the blog post here.

About the book:

"My Special Butterfly" is a book to help children understand a loved one's life with lupus in a way that is easy for them to follow and sensitive to their feelings.

It tells the story of two young siblings, Olivia and Jack, and their thought process as they cope with their mommy's sudden lupus symptoms.

You Are the Best Medicine

Author: Julie Aigner Clark

Julie Aigner Clark is a mom, a writer, and a teacher who has survived breast cancer twice. Julie has been writing books and creating media for children since 1997 and has sold millions of copies worldwide. You Are the Best Medicine was inspired by her daughters and her husband.

Julie is proud to direct her portion of the proceeds from this book to UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center because of its pioneering role in developing life-saving cancer treatments.

About the book:

When someone you love has cancer, how can you make them smile? A cuddle, a story, a kiss, and thoughts of you. Because you are the best medicine.

Wonder Mommy: A Tribute to Moms with Chronic Health Conditions

Author: Jennifer Senne

Jennifer is a chronic illness warrior who spends time building awareness for dystonia and migraine sufferers. Her chronic illness is what drove her to pursue writing.

About the book:

In this sweet tribute to moms with chronic health conditions, Jennifer Senne reminds little readers that even when things are tough, Mommies are a WONDER!

Follow along on this heartwarming story of a mommy who is ill and how she is still an amazing and wonderful mom, even given her ill health.

Mommy Sayang

Author: Rosana Sullivan

About the book:

Aleeya and Mommy do everything together, and in Aleeya's dreams, they dance among enormous hibiscus flowers.

Aleeya loves to ask Mommy if she will always be by her side. Mommy assures her that she will, Insh'Allah.

But one day, Mommy becomes sick.

Alone, Aleeya waits for her return, and it's in this moment that Aleeya realizes she can always be by Mommy's side.

With a hibiscus flower in hand, Aleeya goes to Mommy's bedside to bring her love and hope. Little by little, Mommy sayang gets better.

I want to say a huge Thank You to each of these authors for taking the time to write books for all the chronically ill parents and their children. Writing a book is a huge undertaking, and I commend the hard work and effort each author made, all while being ill.

As for our readers, I hope that you are able to connect with these books, and support these authors.

No matter if you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, coach, teacher or neighbor to young kids, these books can help to not only educate but empower compassion in our youth.

Have you read any of these books? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts! Tag us on Social Media with a pic, vid or story with which of these books has helped your family the most.

Insta: @PhoenixSoulWarrior

TikTok: @PhoenixSoulWarrior

FB: @PhoenixSoulWarrior


We would love your support by purchasing and reading our newly published children's book, I'm The Biggest Helper With Momma's Autoimmune Disease.

Sending love and spoons,

Heather and Marc,



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