Young author writes book for children about type one diabetes
Sam Grant, from Roby Mill, was diagnosed when he was just eight but became frustrated both trying to understand and come to terms with the condition and explain it to other people.
He said he wished there was a book which could help and eventually wrote Oh One Day, a story for children, during a year of home-schooling aged 10.
During lockdown he then worked with mum Michelle, who has experience of publishing, to turn the tale into a proper book.
Sam, who is now 13, has already sent some to his hospital to help children diagnosed with type one diabetes and left requiring insulin and is looking to raise money to print off more volumes and distribute them as widely as possible.
Michelle said: “When Sam was first diagnosed he found it really hard. He also has Asperger’s and he just wanted someone to explain and talk to him about it.
“Whenever he had to talk to someone new at school or explain it to a teacher or friend he got frustrated.
“He wished there was a book that said it was OK and how diabetes works.
“When he was home schooled we were using story cubes but he didn’t want to write what was on the dice.
“He said he wanted to write about a boy who explains diabetes to an alien. It took him about four or five months, on and off.”
The result, Oh One Day, is the tale of a child who is not named so the story will appeal equally to boys and girls, who meets a Martian called Zegg who comes to Earth. He asks why the child is wearing a wire and has diabetes explained to him and is invited for tea.
The book’s style was inspired by the classic tales of Dr Seuss, Sam’s favourite children’s author.
Michelle said: “It’s full of questions Sam himself asked and that he got fed up with. Diabetes is a real educational challenge for children and adults.
“So many people think it’s about sweets and I’ve had to explain it’s nothing to do with frosting on cakes or anything like that. There are a lot of misconceptions.
“The book is an outlet for someone to share. Sam was struggling to understand how his future had changed and he wanted other children to read that it will be OK and they will still be able to play games and do lots of things.
“Sam went into hospital recently and there was a child a couple of beds down who had been given a copy of the book. He and his mum were just over the moon and have told us it made a real difference.”
Sam and Michelle worked hard to get the book into its final form during the lockdown, with Michelle saying she drew the character of the alien at least 10 times before it looked the way Sam imagined it.
Having already distributed several hundred copies, the Lathom High School pupil is now looking to raise around £1,200 to cover a bigger print run as he wants as many hospital trusts in the country as possible to have his story.
Copies have also been available for members of the public to buy, with Michelle saying the first 100 copies went virtually overnight.
Sam, who is the youngest of six siblings, is being supported by his proud family, including Michelle, dad Andrew and grandad Ray.
A key role in creating the book was also played by the family’s pets, with the volume being dedicated to Labrador Martha who would sit by Sam’s feet when he was sick before she died last year and the image of new puppy Honey appearing on the front cover.
To find out more, visit www.samuel-grant.co.uk
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