About the Creative Team
SHARON WOZNY - Author
Inspired by her more than three years of volunteering with Children’s Cancer Network (CCN), author Sharon Wozny has created a book designed for siblings of pediatric cancer patients. While working with families affected by cancer, Sharon discovered an untapped need among the young people whose entire lives are affected by a sibling’s diagnosis. She set out to give these siblings a voice and offer a way for them to help manage the wide range of feelings they might be experiencing. Jamie’s Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling is part-book, part-journal, giving young people a safe place to express their emotions. “Siblings of pediatric cancer patients often get lost or forgotten in the throes of the cancer diagnosis,” says Wozny. “It’s not out of intention, just out of the craziness of what cancer does to a family and the time constraints, worry, angst, and appointments.”
Wozny grew up in Massapequa, Long Island and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Oswego State University. She later earned a Master’s Degree in Counselor Education from Arizona State University. During her 30-year career in education, Sharon particularly enjoyed teaching her students how to write. As the author of Jamie’s Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling, Wozny followed the advice she gave her pupils. “I always taught my students to write what you are passionate about,” she said. “If you don’t, it won’t resonate with people as your true essence won’t come through.” Now retired, Wozny still enjoys volunteering in the classroom.
As a volunteer for CCN, Sharon coordinates the It's All about You Health and Wellness programs for patients on local hospital oncology floors and their families, as well as for families at CCN's resource center. She also helps with organizing the models for CCN’s annual fashion show.
Sharon has two grown children, Hailey and Jordan, and lives in Arizona with her husband, Joe. This is her first book.
MELISSA BAILEY – Illustrator
As a child, Melissa Bailey often thought how cool it would be to illustrate children’s books. Many years and 37 books later, her childhood dream is now her real-life job. Melissa felt a special connection to Jamie’s Journey: Cancer from a Voice of a Sibling because while illustrating this book her grandma was going through cancer treatments (and happily is in remission now). Surrounded by family, friends, a poodle named Archie, and art supplies, Melissa lives on a dirt road near a small town in Michigan.
CONRAD J. STORAD – Editor
Conrad J. Storad is an award-winning author and editor of more than 50 science and nature books for children and young adults, including Gator, Gator, Second Grader (Classroom Pet…or Not?), the “USA Best Book” Rattlesnake Rules, and the ONEBOOKAZ for Kids 2012 selection Arizona Way Out West & Witty. He holds an Undergraduate Degree in Mass Media Communication from the University of Akron and a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication/Science Journalism from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. He, along with his wife, Laurie, and their rescue dog, Frankie, share their time between Arizona and Ohio.
JEFF LUTRELL – Inspiration for the character of Speckles
Imagination and creativity have been part of Jeff Luttrell's life since an early age. Initially through play and comics, then toy design and Comic Con and now graphic design, Jeff strives to share his creativity with those around him. Diagnosed with Leukemia on the second day of kindergarten, Jeff learned early on to focus his energy on healing through art. Now a 27-year-old survivor who has battled Leukemia and secondary cancers many times, Jeff continues that practice. Graduating with a Graphic Design Degree from the Art Institute of Phoenix in December of 2015, Jeff strives to bring smiles to the faces of those around him. He currently resides in Tempe, Arizona. Jeff’s initial drawings of Speckles served as the inspiration for the lovable, plush toy that is featured in Jamie’s Journey: Cancer from the Voice of a Sibling.