Lexie has a medical condition that requires her to spend a lot of time in therapy, at hospitals, and in doctors’ offices. These experiences aren’t always fun. The medicine tastes bad and the shots hurt. “Be brave and know that you are not alone” is Lexie’s message, as she encourages young children who face these same challenges in Brave Just Like Me.
By age 8 most children brave getting a shot, taking medicine, an x-ray or two, and quite likely a brief hospitalization or emergency room visit. Among them are those who courageously face repeated hospitalizations, surgeries, feeding tubes, dialysis, EEGs, respiration and heart monitors, and a life-time of therapy. Lexie has a medical condition that requires her to spend a lot of time in therapy, at hospitals, and in doctors’ offices. She knows first-hand just how difficult, painful, and scary, these experiences can be. “Be brave and know that you are not alone” is Lexie’s message, as she encourages young children who face these challenges in Brave Just Like Me.
Brave Just Like Me was inspired by a three year old girl named Lexie, who was born with a life threatening medical condition. One day, shortly after Lexie returned home from her second kidney transplant surgery, her mother held her in her arms while she slept. It was a day like many others, but as her mother gazed in deepest admiration on her brave little girl, the words to this book were born – not in a slow or uncertain trickle but in strong, overpowering waves. So compelling was this experience, that Lexie’s mother laid her sleeping child in bed to capture these words in writing. Inspired by love and a deep desire to acknowledge, comfort, and encourage children who face the same hardships her daughter experiences, Kimberly wrote her first children’s book.
It was only a matter of days before this first time author found an illustrator, who not only offered but insisted on painting the illustrations for the book and donating the artwork. Stacy spent years painting for the book, as her schedule allowed, and through many personal challenges. Through Stacy, Kimberly found Leslie, a graphic design artist who helped finish the illustrations and set words to art, again donating her work to the cause, despite her own personal hardships. The book moved from Stacy, to Leslie, to Aaron, who volunteered to scan the artwork into print ready files. The book then found its way to a publisher, who not only believed enough in the book to publish it, but valued an affordable price point over profit to ensure the book reached those who needed it most. So, really, Brave Just Like Me has two stories to tell – one about a brave little girl and one about the kindness and goodness of people.
Each person who has touched this book wants only one thing from this endeavor – to comfort and encourage young children who are working courageously to overcome the pain and disabilities that often accompany serious and life threatening medical conditions. “It is our sincerest hope that Brave Just Like Me finds its way into the hands of these precious children. We would encourage anyone who purchases this book for a loved one to also consider donating a copy to a local children’s hospital, pediatrician, therapist, or Ronald McDonald House.” Recognizing that these children aren’t the only ones who need comforting and encouragement, the author invites the parents of children facing serious and life threatening medical conditions to join the virtual support group she created precisely for this purpose at bravejustlikeme.com.