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Writing from the heart

9/3/2014

Cousin writes book to detail pain, raise money for treatment

By ELIZABETH GOLDEN

egolden@dailynews.net

Addie Sander is 3 years old.

Less than a year ago, her mother noticed Addie was pale, tired and complaining of pain.

After several visits to the doctor, she was diagnosed with two life-threatening conditions: Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis and Juvenile Xanthogranuloma.

According to a study by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, the conditions rarely occur together.

Only seven co-occurring cases have been reported.

The conditions could lead to bone density issues, as well as other varying symptoms.

After Addie's diagnosis, her cousin, Shana Arnhold, wanted to help. She decided to write a children's book "Love is ... " in order to help raise money for Addie's treatment.

Originally from Hays, Arnhold enlisted her father-in-law to illustrate the book.

"I'm in the medical field," Arnhold said. "I heard she had decreased bone density, and I immediately thought she had bone cancer. It was terrifying to think she had a potentially life-threatening condition."

Addie has undergone several rounds of chemotherapy and is improving. She will require leg-braces in the future.

"We know there's still a chance of bad things happening," Arnhold said, "but we're taking it one day at a time. It was really rough for them."

Arnhold decided to write the book because her 2-year-old son loves books.

"My son has some really cute, feel-good books," Arnhold said. "I had the idea based on our son's love of books."

So far, the book has raised more than $1,200.

"The purpose is definitely to raise money because her mom hasn't been able to work for the last year," Arnold said.

"But also to raise awareness about the condition and show our little ones the ways we show our love for them."