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Children's book explores Vista boy's journey through chronic illness

Children's book explores Vista boy's journey through chronic illness
Posted at 5:33 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-21 16:06:06-04

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - In a new children's book, a local boy's journey through chronic illness is told—through a slice of a pizza.

Nearly three years ago, then 11-year-old Mason Harvey started losing weight, became anemic, and was diagnosed with a severe case of Crohn's Disease, a chronic condition that causes inflammation in the intestinal tract.

In the hospital, Mason was fed nutrients through an IV in his arm.

“I was really hungry. I decided to draw food,” said Mason.

Mason drew more than 100 pictures of food, including favorites like pizza.

This past summer, when Mason took an online class with Pixar artists, a story was born from those drawings.

In the class, he storyboarded his journey, winning an aware for ‘Best Youth Story Reel.’

That story is told in the new book, ‘Not Your Average Slice of Pizza.’

Illustrated by Mason, and co-authored with his mom, Michelle, the book looks at a pizza slice named Reggie and his battle with an autoimmune disease.

Reggie learns way to deal with treatments, helps changes laws and helps raise awareness for his condition.

“This book is to teach you not to be afraid, get through it and finds ways to cope … one way is to help others,” said Michelle Harvey.

“I want kids to not feel like they're alone in this,” said Mason.

Mason says he hopes anyone facing hardship will savor the story of the pizza slice.

“I hope kids take from it, once you face fears, it will become easier. There will be a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mason.

Mason and his family helped champion a state law that went into effect this year, granting people access to any restrooms during medical emergencies.

Meantime, ‘Not Your Average Slice of Pizza is available at local libraries, Amazon and other online book sellers.