Recently DSV caught up with Julie Fisher, who has recently released her first book The Unexpected Journey: Embracing the Beauty of Disability. Julie is mother to three boys, and stepmother to one daughter. One of her sons, Darcy, has Down syndrome.
LUCY BAIN: What was the catalyst for you, what made you want to write your book?
JULIE FISHER: I have always wanted to write a book. I never really knew what about, although I've helped to encourage a lot of other parents, so I guess I did know in the back of my mind that it would be about Darcy. When I met my mentor for the first time and she asked me what I wanted to write about, I told her our journey with our son Darcy. Since starting the journey, it has made me realise that I do want to get a positive message out there for other families. So the desire to write the book was for both those reasons.
LUCY: What message do you hope people take away from your book?
JULIE: I hope that people will realise that even though some people may look or behave differently, we are all the same. We all have the same human wants and needs. We all need the same love and compassion. I want people to also realise they can fight for the rights of their child. I want them to realise anything is possible without saying it directly. Darcy has a very active life with sport and so on and we have had to think outside the box and fight along the way. He amazes people everyday.
LUCY: Did you speak to Darcy about the book, or did you have thoughts about how he might receive it or understand it when he is an adult?
JULIE: I did speak to Darcy about the book. He doesn't say much about it, but now that the copies are here, he is very excited. He shows people as soon as they walk in the door. And he is loving signing the copies people want him to sign.
LUCY: What advice would you offer other family members who might be thinking about writing a book?
JULIE: I would tell people, if writing a book is something they are thinking about... DO IT! If it's in you, you can achieve it. It is an amazing process and journey. Since writing my book, I have started looking further into other things like public speaking (motivational at the moment) and a second book. I want to write another one about inclusion and acceptance with regard to our experiences with schooling and sports. Also, I want to write about providing sensory areas at events so all families can attend and feel included like everyone else.
LUCY: That sounds wonderful. Is there anything else you’d like to tell us or share about your book?
JULIE: Writing the book has been the one of the best experiences I have ever had. It's been emotional and empowering at the same time. The support I have had has been amazing and I feel very grateful, and sometimes overwhelmed. As I said before, it has also made me realise that I want to get on the stage to help families believe things are possible.
Thank you Julie! You can find out more about Julie or purchase the book here.