The Fairy who lived in a pop can
By Suzan Ruben- Alderton
Chance meeting with girl in wheelchair prompts children’s author to highlight rare disease
Crickhowell dementia campaigner and children’s author Suzan Ruben-Alderton was moved to use her latest book to highlight a rare neurological disease after chance meeting with a young girl.
Suzan and her husband Mike are the founders of the Living with Dementia Society Crickhowell and were out fundraising when the father of a girl approached them. Suzan said: “He was a young man. He told us that there was dementia in the family. We asked him ‘who’ and he pointed to the little girl in the wheelchair he was pushing. He explained that she had Batten Disease and how it starts with seizures and progresses to cause severe disabilities and dementia in children. It was really, emotional to see someone so young who had been affected in this way.”
So, Suzan decided to give the net profits from her latest children’s book, The Fairy who lived in a Pop Can, to the Batten Disease Association, which supports children with batten disease and their families and to Young Lives vs Cancer that supports children and young adults with cancer.
The book was illustrated by Cardiff Metropolitan University art students Polly Allburn and Naomi Bennet. It tells the story of a girl called Betty who finds an unusual pop can when litter picking and discovers a fairy inside it. Through the story, Betty learns about the importance of protecting the environment.
Suzan explains: “I wanted to tell a positive story about nature but now the book has two positive outcomes; promoting awareness of biodiversity among children and fundraising for sick children and their families.”
“Like most families these days, I’ve lost family members to cancer and quite recently I lost my dear friend, Nora to the disease. I have also lost family members to dementia. I want to think everyone who buys a copy of this book and reads it to their children or grandchildren.