SIX MONTHS. THREE KIDS. ONE TRIP OF A LIFETIME.
It is everybody’s worst fear – to wake up one morning and discover that you may, just possibly, have only months to live.
When Joanne Teague became seriously ill and was diagnosed with Vascular Ehlers-Danlos – a rare and still incurable, life-threatening condition – this fear became a reality. At the age of forty-one, she was faced with a condition that had a life expectancy of forty-one.
After some tears and a couple of glasses of wine, Joanne decided to grab as much life as she could get. Her solution was to spend six months travelling around Europe with her husband and three young children.
In her first book, See You in September, Joanne writes a funny and moving account of this trip as the Teague family negotiate a kidnapping attempt, scorpions, jellyfish, floods, a wandering Eiffel Tower and Aled Jones. She says: “We’d had a disastrous year and I just wanted to spend some time as a family, with no problems and no stresses. It was also important for me to build memories for my children.”
Joanne shares her condition, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS), with Coronation Street actress, Cherylee Houston. Lara Bloom, development manager at Ehlers-Danlos Support UK, is keen to reassure those living with the syndrome that they can live a full and active life. She says: “EDS has been called an invisible condition. At EDS UK we strive to educate the medical community and raise understanding of the condition. Joanne’s book is an inspiration to anyone to remind them we should all live our lives to the maximum, no matter what you are faced with and how important your family are in good times, and bad.”
After being hospitalised with the illness, Joanne was advised by doctors to simply return home and carry on with her life but her response was to implement her ‘Someday Plan’; a holiday with a difference, for the fun and adventure was always tinged with a sense of poignancy at the fragility of happiness and, indeed life itself.
Shaun Russell, head of publishing at Candy Jar Books says: “I felt compelled to publish this, not only to raise awareness, but because at the heart of Joanne’s book is a wonderfully honest story about family. See You in September is a wonderful testament to how a good sense of humour can overcome everything.”
Joanne is defying the odds and continues to enjoy every day with her family. She is looking forward to taking part in the Candy Jar Book Festival next week, when she will be talking to aspiring writers and travellers about her experiences. There were also familial celebrations earlier in the week when See You in September became an Amazon bestseller in travel.
See You in September is available now.
For more information, or to book Joanne for an interview, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org