Stony Brook teen overcomes medical condition to become published book illustrator
A 15-year-old Stony Brook girl didn't let her medical condition stop her from becoming a published book illustrator.
Ella Ignacio's creations are featured in the newly released children's book titled "Do Skunks Think Skunks Stink?"
"It made me feel proud of all my artwork," Ignacio says.
She was born with caudal regression syndrome, which affected the development of her legs and lower back.
Her nurse - Tracy Bloom - says Ignacio's condition doesn't stop her from going after her dreams.
"She really captures expressions and feelings," Bloom says. "That's what is so special about her drawings."
Bloom is not only Ignacio's nurse, she also is the one who asked Ignacio to illustrate the book her son Jordan wrote about a skunk overcoming teasing and bullying.
A draft of the book sat on a shelf unpublished for 15 years until Ignacio brought it to life with her illustrations.
Ignacio says the book is about being considerate of other people's feelings and being kind.
The 15-year-old's own achievement in becoming a published book illustrator is also sending a message about overcoming obstacles.
"It shows people not to underestimate anybody because everybody has a special gift or special talent that they can share," Bloom says.
The first batch of 250 books sold out in a couple of days.
Ignacio and Bloom are donating all proceeds of the book sales to Angela's House, a place that provides services to medically fragile children like Ignacio.
Anyone interested in buying a copy of the book can do so here.