Suburban mom, inspired by disabled daughter, writes book about inclusion
HOMER GLEN, Illinois - A local mom is not just any children’s book author, she’s the current Mrs. America and a Homer Glen trustee.
Last year, Nicole La Ha Zwiercan was crowned Mrs. America, a special moment for the reining Mrs. Illinois, who had already won over so many hearts in the disabled community.
We first met Zwiercan last year, profiling her as a fierce advocate for her daughter Ashlynn, born with cerebral palsy. Now she’s not only using her voice, but her family’s personal story to inspire and connect with others.
"I kind of thought it's a now or never. I had the platform to create the message that we were trying to share," said Nicole.
She authored the new children’s book, "My Sister is Just Like You and Me," shared from the viewpoint of her son, Christiano. It explains that even though we have differences, we have much more in common.
"She's like us, but she just can't do stuff like us, because she's in a wheelchair and she can't really talk that well," said Christiano.
"It’s a representation of our life, we're a family and Ashlynn's a part of that," said Nicole’s husband, Dr. Christopher Zwiercan.
Ashlynn said that it made her feel "good" that her mom authored the book about her.
Homer Glen is the first Chicago suburb with a disability awareness committee. It provides opportunities for those who are differently-abled.
Now, the world gets to experience what they’ve created, first hand, through this book.
"Most importantly, I just want other families to know that they're not alone. That together we can inspire a message of inclusivity and accessibility," said Nicole.
The book is currently available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Barbara’s Bookstore and Books-A-Million.