Parent Spotlight: Jessica Rachels
My name is Jessica Rachels. I am from Idaho and I am a Christian, wife, mom, homemaker, caregiver to both my Dad and daughter who have disabilities, advocate for people with disabilities, and author of Natalie Bug: My Life With Cytomegalovirus. I have lived in the beautiful state of Idaho for the past eighteen years. I have been married to my loving husband Patrick for nineteen years; together we have four children and a house full of affectionate pets. I enjoy spending time with my family, going on bike rides, watching movies, gardening, cross stitching, and playing my 70+ board games. After working with others in Idaho to pass a CMV law in 2017 educating women on Cytomegalovirus, I decided to write my first non-fiction children’s book told from my daughter’s perspective. I hoped that giving my daughter a voice would help readers connect to her story.
Since I was not previously educated on CMV and my daughter contracted it during my pregnancy, it has been my mission and passion to educate others in hopes of sparing children from this horrific virus. I see any advocacy as a ripple effect in the pond of education on the virus. One dollar of every book sold will be donated to the National CMV Foundation to help their mission. After recovering the cost of publishing, I would like to give back a portion of the profit to CMV advocacy.
Natalie Bug: My Life with Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a children’s book about my daughter who is fourteen years old. While I was pregnant with Natalie I worked in a daycare once per week and watched children in my home. People who work in child care are at greater risk of contracting the virus and because of this, my daughter was born affected by congenital CMV. We were told she wouldn’t live to age ten, but she continues to fool them. Natalie has inspired us and others to advocate for CMV education. The book is told from Natalie’s perspective. It is true she is nonverbal, but I thought this would be a unique approach to writing about how CMV affected our family both positively and negatively. The book also touches on how to interact with people who have different abilities. Throughout the book there are words in bold that the reader might be unfamiliar with; the definitions are located in the back along with personal photos and a page on how to lessen one’s chances of contracting CMV. I hope that anyone who reads this book will find it enjoyable and educational.
· Bonner County Daily Bee
· Sand Point Reader
Jessica’s children’s book is available for purchase on Amazon. One dollar from every book sold will be donated to National CMV Foundation.
Category: Advocacy, Awareness, Community, "Parent Perspective"