A blind nine-year-old brain tumour patient has written a book featuring powerful lessons about positivity, kindness and hope.
Betsy Griffin, from Chorleywood, was diagnosed with a low-grade optic nerve glioma at the age of two after developing nystagmus, a condition that causes involuntary eye movements.
The youngster endured 18 months of chemotherapy before having a biopsy and going on targeted treatment, which she remains on today. She also requires lifelong hormone replacements.
Betsy underwent a debulking surgery last year and has since had a stable scan, the next of which is due in January.
Betsy Griffin (Image: Brain Tumour Research)
During lockdown 2020, she persuaded her parents Rochelle and Stuart to help her set up her own YouTube channel “to spread positivity”.
Her inspirational videos, which have featured such things as songs, exercises and meditations, proved a hit. She became a YouTube star, with subscribers for Betsy’s Positive Videos having reached more than 4,700.
Next, she decided to create a book and managed to get Sheryl Shurville, the owner of Chorleywood Bookshop, onboard.
It tells the story of a little girl who gets lost and befriends a dog. As companions, they find their way and are reunited with her family, but not before encountering a host of animals, all of whom have positive lessons to share.
Out of the Woods by Betsy Griffin (Image: Brain Tumour Research)
The book also features a forward from Fearne Cotton, who went to the same school as Rochelle. Fearne also recorded an audio version of the book.
The book has been turned into a modern-day collection fables through Bev James Management and Literary Agency and was released through HarperCollins Publishers earlier this month.
Rochelle said: “Betsy’s not one for sitting and doing nothing. She’s always busking outside or writing a story or creating a show.
“Betsy strolled into the bookshop full of charisma and the owner knew her from her YouTube videos and said ‘yes’.
“It’s like Betsy’s disability has become her superpower. She’s got something about her; she can’t explain it and we can’t either, but it’s there. We’re really proud of her and when we get personal messages saying the book’s helped someone, that means so much.”