A guide by a patient for her peers 

Violet Ake has been a patient of the Duke Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic since she was adopted from China at 17 months, and has made strong connections with the team. The team has encouraged her in all areas of her life, including helping her become a published author. 

Violet, now 12, came to her annual appointment when she was 9 with a book made from folded notebook paper that illustrated a clinic visit with words and drawings. The team was so impressed they asked Violet if she wanted to collaborate on a book that could help other children know what to expect on clinic day. Jones and her team helped Violet publish the book, now available on Amazon. Thanks to CMN Hospitals funding through the Kids Care Grant program, every child who comes to clinic receives a copy.

“We took it very seriously, and we really put it in Violet’s hands. We let her drive the writing of it—we thought it was important to keep it true to her vision,” says Jones.

Violet likes that her book shows that kids shouldn’t be afraid, and that clinic can be fun. "I'm not feeling like I want to be rich from this,” says Violet. “I just want it to help other kids.”

Violet Ake