By Jessica Easthope
Julie Stamm loves reading her new book “Some Days We…” with her four-year-old son, Jack. Just like the dedication page says, everything in her life is for him.
Jack is Julie’s motivation and her muse. After Jack was born, Julie’s multiple sclerosis wasn’t just about her anymore. She wanted Jack to understand that some days would be harder than others.
“I’ve told him from when he was born that mom has MS, she’s a little different, but now he’s old enough to get what MS means and I wanted him to have a way to visualize it in a book and everything I found was a little depressing and too complicated for a 4-year-old to understand,” Julie said.
The book follows a boy named Wyatt and his mom Anne who, like Julie, has MS. Every page is a true story of a day when Julie’s MS was debilitating, but the book is about how Jack saw her hardest days: to him, they were some of the best.
“They’re my worst days in my mind and then I sat down with him and asked him, ‘How do you feel about this,’ and they were his favorite days. So it’s good to get the perspective and listen to your children because those days and the guilt I have associated with them were great adventures for him,” said Julie.
Since her diagnosis in 2007, Julie has had her ups and downs.
“On hot days when I get hot I lose vision in my right eye and if I don’t see my feet, I can’t move them. So if I’m wearing a mask and I’m walking down the stairs, I need to see my feet to get to that next stair,” she explained.
You wouldn’t know it from looking at her, which is why “Some Days We…” highlights that you can’t always see a disability. The book is now being used to help families just like Julie’s.
“I’m getting parents who didn’t tell their children they had MS and they’re using it as a tool, and that’s probably my favorite so far,” Julie said.
One source of positivity throughout Julie’s battle with MS has been her faith, especially her friendship with Father Joseph Fonti, her family priest.
“Father Fonti, every happy moment he’s a part of, he guides us and he’s always there to be supportive,” said Julie.
“Some Days We…” was released in February on Amazon and in Barnes and Noble and Target. The COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of Julie’s promotion of the book on hold, but Julie says the book’s message is needed now more than ever.
“Some days we have to not go out because there’s a global pandemic, and some days we have to wear a mask and we’re slowly seeing everyone has something they need to adjust to,” Julie said.
As Jack will shyly say, he can’t read yet. But now, thanks to Julie, he understands.