Crystal Child is the inspiring story of a mother on a mission: to save her physically fragile child from life-threatening food allergies and asthma, which she finally accomplishes, through a steady stream of humor, love and hard work.
"Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger."
This could be the motto of Lisa B. Lewis and her daughter, Lea, who has grown up in a world where pizza is a lethal weapon and "catching your breath" is never a given. Most of us must navigate our way through daunting struggles at some point in our lives. It is how we deal with these challenges and the choices we make concerning them, that defines our essence as human beings. That is why the story of Lisa and Lea is especially relevant for all of us.
According to the Center for Disease Control, eight percent of children in the U.S. have significant food allergies and seven million children suffer from asthma. In the early 2000s, a tremendous number of children were born with asthma, food allergies and autism. This generation has come to be known as "crystal children." Like fine crystal glass, each of them are extraordinarily gifted and beautiful, yet they are also incredibly fragile. Crystal Child is dedicated to the deeply spiritual, intuitive and beautiful souls of our children, and to the strength, love and amazing resilience of their parents!
Lisa B. Lewis has a master's degree in clown and circus history from New York University and joined the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit, working in pediatric wards of local hospitals. Over 15 years, as she came to know more and more ailing children, her soul deepened and her heart opened in inexplicable ways.
"While I may have been professionally prepared to deal with a physically challenged child," she says, "I had no idea how to face these problems as a mother with my own daughter, let alone find solutions. As a result, 'The buck stops here' has taken on an entirely new meaning."
Crystal Child reveals the daily rollercoaster of trying to care for a suffering child, frustrated when you can't find immediate solutions and stymied by how the road constantly forks and things rarely go as planned. After years of emergency room visits, clueless doctors, careless teachers and searching in vain for answers to unanswerable questions, Dr. Xiu-Min Li from Mt Sinai Hospital in New York City finally provided real reasons for hope. Thanks to Dr. Li's groundbreaking research on the use of natural herbs for treating food allergies and asthma, Lea's life has not only been changed; it's been saved. She is living proof of the positive effects of Chinese herbal immunotherapy.
"Welcome to our adventure," says Lisa. "We are all in this together! Laugh, cry, celebrate triumphs and learn from my mistakes, so you never repeat them. May Lea, my 'crystal child,' inspire you with the beauty she brings into this world."
"Lisa and her story can inspire others with similar problems. Her dedication and determination are a lesson for all of us."
--Dr. Xiu-Min Li. Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City
"Full of practical wisdom and boundless compassion, Crystal Child is a testament to the power of love, creativity and the art of never giving up. It demonstrates the graceful convergence of ancient and modern medicine, how real cooperation between diverse systems is possible through heartfelt, professional collaboration. Crystal Child is a wonderful guide for parents of children with challenging conditions and should be required reading for students of pediatric medicine, East & West."
--Rachel Koenig, L.Ac, Founder, Aurora Healing Arts
"Crystal Child is a must-read for parents, teachers and medical professionals, offering valuable insight for anyone concerned with the vulnerabilities of children."
-- David Tabatsky, Co-author, Chicken Soup for the Soul's,
The Cancer Book and The Over-Parenting Epidemic
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About the Author
a BFA from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College, and an MA from NYU in Clown/Circus History; she has also completed the Teaching Artist Training Institute and works with Marquis Studios teaching circus skills to students on the autism spectrum, with other special needs and General education.
Lisa spent fifteen years working with the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit, an organization that sends trained performers into pediatric hospital rooms. She Now works with The Big Apple Circus as Program Director of Circus of the Senses, a show adapted specifically for Deaf, Blind, Visually and Hearing impaired students as welll as those on the Spectrum. She runs six different educational assembly programs that use visual circus arts and magic to make science come alive and clear for students in grades Pre-K to 8.
In advocating for her own child, she became the school liaison for all students with food allergies at PS 261 in Brooklyn, where she created a food allergy management program for the entire school and coaches many parents of newly diagnosed children on proper care and maintenance, not only in the school, but in their homes as well. She is the allergy advisor on two different Yahoo groups for children with special needs.
Lisa is jokingly referred to as a "pit bull" for her determination to find help and advocate for her daughter. She believes her daughter-who, at the age of ten, is a great gymnast, walks on stilts, sings, dances, and plays guitar and piano-is living proof of the positive effects of Chinese herbal immunotherapy for asthma and food allergies. Her message is about life, love, and living to your fullest potential.