How a Northampton dad with cystic fibrosis fulfilled his daughter’s Christmas wish
A Northampton dad with cystic fibrosis (CF) has fulfilled his little girl’s dream – for them to write a book together.
Seven-year-old Emily Smith came up with a string of characters and the plot for a cute Christmas book for children.
And dad Martin, who lives in East Hunsbury, happily crafted Emily’s story into a paperback.
As a result, The Christmas Poop Plan was born. The funny story involves an innocent puppy, a rotten auntie and lots of 'poop'.
Martin, aged 40, who spent 15 years working as a regional journalist before retiring due to his advancing CF, said: “Emily has always dreamed of writing a children’s
book with me.
“I was working hard on keeping healthy – as well as a new Charlie Fry book – so was struggling to find the time to start something else.
“To be fair, she went off, made the plot herself and dreamed up the characters – and it was really good. All I had to do was piece it together.”
The Christmas Poop Plan follows the tale of three naughty elves who plot to ruin a family Christmas. It is aimed at children aged four to eight.
Martin, who was the face of the CF Trust’s Christmas campaign in 2017, retired as a journalist two years ago due to his own health declining.
The father-of-one spends more than four hours every day taking medication and undergoing physiotherapy to keep his damaged lungs stable.
He writes children’s books in his spare time and created the popular Charlie Fry Series – a collection of books about a young footballer with CF who becomes the world’s greatest player – to raise awareness about the life-limiting condition.
CF is a genetic condition that impacts the lungs and digestive system. There is no cure, although state-of-the-art precision medicines mean life expectancy has improved dramatically in the past decade.
Martin added: “Living with a life-limiting condition can be challenging, particularly for those closest to you.
"That’s why every second counts. I know that – in future years – Emily will be able to look at The Christmas Poop Plan and think: ‘me and my dad made that’.”
The Christmas Poop Plan costs £5 and is available on Amazon . To find out more about Martin’s work, follow him on: Instagram: @charliefrybooks or Facebook: @footballboywonder