I first learned about colitis and Crohn’s disease when my cousin, Casey, was diagnosed with colitis at age 11.

Both Crohn’s disease and colitis affect the digestive system. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the entire gastrointestinal tract, while colitis is inflammation specifically in the large intestine. There are a lot of painful symptoms associated with these diseases, like severe stomach cramping and pain, inability to eat, and all sorts of difficulties with bowel function. Patients with these diseases don’t have proper immunity, and so the pain and suffering often keeps going and going.

My cousin, Casey, has had many surgeries and procedures to help her, but her road to good health has been long. She has taught me that a positive attitude is key to finding relief and happiness during the hard times.

CCFA, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, is the organization that helps support research, education and patients of these diseases. All my proceeds from A Weasel on an Easel go to the CCFA, so that people like Casey have hope for a healthier future. 



After publishing my first book, A Weasel on an Easel, I would often visit children at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center and read my uplifting story to them. My visits to the hospital ended up inspiring me, much as I hoped to inspire the patients! I decided to write another book and donate all proceeds to the children’s hospital. The name of my second book is Jack on a Plaque.

Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York is dedicated to providing top level care for children of all ages. Cohen Children’s Medical Center is a warm and bright environment ensuring each child’s stay is as pleasant and comfortable as possible. The hospital opened in 1983 as the New York metropolitan area’s only hospital designed exclusively for children. Today it is the largest provider of pediatric health services in the state of New York.

After many visits to the hospital, I have seen the kindness of the nurses, doctors and staff at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. Through the sale of my book I have raised much-needed funds and hope to continue my mission through continued sales.

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Between visits to my cousin in the hospital, and reading to children in the hospital that I may not know personally, I have seen the effects a caring and inviting hospital environment can provide. I see firsthand the need for play spaces, computer areas and socialization rooms.

Through my hospital readings I learned about Companions in Courage, an organization originally founded in 1997 by NHL Hall of Famer, Pat LaFontaine. Companions in Courage builds playrooms in hospitals that are colorful and fun, loaded with computers and video games and other activities. The rooms provide a happy space and an opportunity for isolated children in the hospital to be in touch with the outside world.

Companions in Courage Foundation offers courage, friendship, compassion and support to children and their families who are overcoming illness and life threatening diseases.

It is my hope through the sale of my third book, Furry and Fabulous: The Life and Times of Taylor Swift’s Cats, to build a hospital play room in memory of my beautiful Nana Judi who was constantly by my cousin’s hospital bed, and was always my biggest supporter in my efforts to raise money for charities I believe in.