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Book describes girl 's exzema experience

Kandy Reece's project was based on personal experience -- one she wanted to share with others who might someday face it themselves.

Entitled "Dear Daddy," Kandy's book on PowerPoint tells the story of a little girl who is diagnosed with atopic exzema and has to visit the doctor for treatment.

"I had it when I was younger, so I wanted to let other kids kind of experience it," Kandy said.

The story required quite a bit of medical research. But because she lives with her younger brother and sister and works part-time in a daycare, Kandy had no trouble putting the medical terms on a child's level in the book.

"On one page, the little girl heard it was passed through the genes, and she thought it meant 'jeans,' so I drew her thinking about jeans," Kandy said with a laugh.

She illustrated the book herself, drawing the pictures with markers. Some of the pictures were of bumpy skin that was oozed after being scratched too much, "because kids like to be grossed out," she said.

Now a senior at Thomson High School who loves to draw, write, ride horseback and watch Georgia Bulldog games, Kandy said she was surprised to win the media festival because she "didn't think it was that great of a book."

In fact, she had a difficult time recording her own voice for the narration. But the writing part, she fell in love with.

"I've tried writing chapter books before, but never got around to finishing any of them," she said. "Since this one was a short kids book, I finished it in two hours. So I liked that."

In 11th grade when she created it, Kandy said she learned from the research, too.

"I learned that it isn't treatable if it comes at a later stage in life," she said. "I didn't know that, so it made me glad I had it when I was young."

Kandy wrote her book as an assignment last year for Robin Dudley's health science class. The class provided the basis for her future. She plans to become a registered nurse and work in a neonatal intensive care unit.

"I love children and babies," Kandy said, adding that she had a nephew who died at 2 months old. "I want to be able to help babies, so nothing like that happens again."



Web posted on Thursday, October 01, 2009













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