Imagine…Amazing Me, a book featuring simple, yet inspiring photos of children engaged in a variety of activities despite having limb and extremity differences.
Valley View, OH, October 08, 2010 — Amazed by the capabilities of her physically disabled daughter, author Libbi Chilia created Imagine…Amazing Me, a book featuring simple, yet inspiring photos of children engaged in a variety of activities despite having limb and extremity differences. This book disbands any misconceptions about people with disabilities. “I feel my book reaches out to all people and teaches about physical diversities,” Chilia said.
Her daughter, Sami, now 6 years old, was born with proximal femoral focal deficiency, a rare, non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, particularly the hip bone and the proximal femur. Chilia said she looked for books featuring children with similar disabilities to read to her little girl. When she found absolutely nothing on store or library book shelves, she decided to create one herself and began gathering photos of children from across the United States and Canada through online support groups she joined after her daughter was born.
Meanwhile, Sami was starting to walk and get into everything and Chilia was inspired by what the toddler was able to do. The loving mom said she wanted Sami to see children like herself and for other people to see just how amazing children with limb differences are. “I thought to myself, this can be very powerful. So I prayed about it and I wrote it. Well, actually, God wrote it. It was not my plan to be an author. I was going to be a little teacher….. a little mom.”
Since publishing her book, the middle school special education teacher has received emotional responses from both parents and children inspired by her book. Recently, she received a letter from a mom who came across the book while still pregnant. Devastated by the news her baby was to be born with a limb difference, the expectant mother said Chilia’s book gave her light in one of her darkest hours and provided her with hope and inspiration.
“It is these letters that show me how much this book was needed,” Chilia said. “I even received a letter from a mom who visited one of the websites listed in my book which led to her daughter being diagnosed. These letters come from people who, while I don’t know how they were led to my book, I am so thankful that they were because they show me the reason I wrote the book continues to be carried on. It is truly a blessing.”
Chilia grew up in Parma Heights, Ohio where she now lives with her husband of 17 years, Tony, and three children, Nick, 11, Nate, 7, and Sami. She previously taught seventh grade math and recently earned her masters degree at Cleveland State University. The author has made school appearances with her book and has been featured on television and in the local newspaper. Copies of Imagine…Amazing Me ( http://www.imagineamazingme.com ) were purchased by the Cleveland Clinic, Mary Freebed Center for Limb Differences in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Shriners Hospital in Erie, Pa. to give to families of children with limb differences. The Cuyahoga County Regional Library system also purchased copies to feature at various branches throughout the Greater Cleveland area.
To order Imagine…Amazing Me, http://www.imagineamazingme.com
Press & Media Contact:
Lisa M. Umina, Publisher
Halo Publishing International
5549 Canal Road
Valley View, OH 44125