Valley teacher writes book to help kids battling serious illnesses

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Valley teacher is using her literary skills to show kids how to persevere through illness.

"You love tigers because there is nothing in the world like them and there's no one in the world like you papa said."

Fresno mom and teacher Erin Garcia is the co-author of a new book called 'Tiger Livy' about a little girl who is battling a serious disease.

Garcia was inspired to write the book based upon her niece Livy, whose world changed overnight.

"She was diagnosed with a very rare autoimmune disease called juvenile dermatomyositis when she was 5 years old. The side effects are similar to the ones on the side of the book," said co-author Erin Garcia.

The book shows the ups and downs of dealing with serious illness and to show its okay to be different.

"She makes a connection that her stretch marks kind of resemble tiger stripes and this is how she transforms her disappointment into a form of courage and bravery," Garcia said.

Garcia helped co-author the book and a Fresno native helped illustrate the colorful page.

In addition to helping Livy deal with her challenges, Garcia also wrote the book to help educate typical kids and adults.

"To have some empathy and kindness and to grow that community spirit because anyone who has ever had a serious illness knows it really isn't just medicine that gets you better, it's your community your family, it's people supporting you, being kind and going out of their way," Garcia said.

So far, it's already helped, other kids.

The Clovis Rotary donated the books to kids with the same disease.

Proceeds from the book go back to a foundation to help find a cure for JM, the same disease Livy is dealing with every day of her young life.

Only now she feels a little more empowered and brave.

You can find Tiger Livy online at Amazon or pick up a copy locally at Petunia's Place or Vivily vintage handmade and support this local author. A book starts at $10.
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