It was at age four when Judy Gray Johnson first felt the pains. As mysterious as they were excruciating, her repeated periods of anguish confounded the local doctor of a poor town in World War II-era Appalachia. His only advice to her mother was that she should rub little Judy down with liniment. It was not until she was a teenager that another doctor informed an aunt of the real cause of my agony – something called sickle cell anemia.
Judy Gray Johnson says the social mores of that time, however, dictated that adults discussed nothing of substance with children, so she learned little about her ailment other than it could cause her to die. "That frightened me. I simply put sickle cell disease out of my mind. You could say I suffered in silence as I went on with my life," said Johnson.
However, sickle cell disease, as painful as it was, did not stop Judy from living. Her life’s journey included college, a teaching career, a short-lived marriage and the raising of a daughter as she endured severe periods of pain that usually required emergency room visits, blood transfusions and copious dosages of painkillers such as morphine. All the while, exhaustion was her constant companion.
Judy's first book, Living With Sickle Cell Disease: The Struggle To Survive, has been well reviewed and received. It detailed her life's story and gave readers a glimpse of the everyday reality and challenges of living with a disease that cannot be seen. She decided she had a lot more to say, and does so in her new book Resilience: Coping with Sickle Cell Disease. "This book is designed to help strengthen the resolve of those suffering from sickle cell disease in particular and disabilities in general. I believe this latest book should be recommended reading for parents, educators, and anyone in the workplace who supervise those who may be classified as disabled," said Johnson.
In Resilience Judy says readers will learn:
- How to effectively work with those who don’t fit the mold of expectations within the family, at school, and/or the workplace.
- How to place responsibility for individual production on all stakeholders: the disabled, the parents, the supervisors.
- How to concentrate on what the disabled CAN do rather than on what they can’t do.
- How to go beyond the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and feel good about it.There's also a special group companion discussion guide that comes complimentary with both books when purchased on Judy's website: www.judygrayjohnson.com.
About Judy Gray Johnson
Author/Speaker Judy Gray Johnson has nearly 40 years of experience in public education, having taught elementary, middle, and high school in Virginia and Maryland. She holds a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Virginia State University, in Petersburg, Virginia, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina.Ms. Johnson is also certified in the Commonwealth ofVirginia as an Elementary and Secondary School Principal. She completed the coursework for the doctorate in Educational Administration & Supervision from Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University in Blacksburg, Virginia.
For three years, she served as president of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (the second-largest teachers union in the state of Virginia,) representing teachers and aides in the largest school district in the state of Virginia.
Judy is very active on Social Media. You can follow her on Twitter @sicklecell66. Her books are available at her website www.judygrayjohnson.com.