“You’re a wizard…”

*This project was part of a larger story about Physical Therapy students who created children’s books to help different age groups cope with a diagnosis of Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy. Read more about the project here.

Mariah Cairer, a Doctor of Physical Therapy student who took Dr. Hall’s course, loves Harry Potter. She and her classmates who were involved in this project all love Harry Potter and have since they were kids. Their inspiration came from imagining what would be important for a twelve year old boy and what would he already have in his life that he understands. The creation of Henry Porter: The Journey of a Young Wizard with DMD allowed them to connect young boys with Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy to a hero story.  

“I found an entire site that was totally dedicated to students at Hogwarts with disabilities. They’re talking about accessible spells, the stairs moving to accommodate wheelchairs, adapted brooms,” said Cairer. Her research showed her an entirely new perspective on an old idea that increased accessibility and inclusivity for kids.

The deciding factors for what to include in the story itself came from an emotional place as well as a logical one. 

“If I was in their shoes, what would I want to know? How can I make this so it’s interesting, but also telling me the truth? What am I going to expect? How can I make this so that it’s still okay?” asked Cairer.