BY IVY MOORE Special to The Sumter Item
Ashley Denmark has recently added “author” to her list of accomplishments, with the publication of her first book. The Missouri native lives in Sumter and works as a family medicine physician at McLeod Hospital in Florence.
“I recently wrote my first STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) children’s book called ‘Olivia’s Doctor Adventures,’ which was inspired by my daughter, who is a first-grader at Sumter Christian School,” she said.
Denmark said her 6-year-old daughter Olivia had surgery when she was 3, “and she saw all different kinds of doctors in the hospital. As she got older she made doodles about her experience, and she said, ‘You should make this a book.'”
And so her mother did just that.
Denmark said the book is filled with colorful illustrations by Mike Motz and text by herself “that teach children about different types of doctors, such as anesthesiologists, surgeons, pediatricians, dentists, ophthalmologists, obstetricians/gynecologists and much more.”
“Olivia’s Doctor Adventures” not only teaches children about what doctors in different fields of medicine do, she said, but also “I wrote it to inspire them to dream.”
The book is for everyone, not just girls, Denmark said. “It’s for people like (the readers) to see it’s possible to become whatever they dream for.
“My mission is to let the next generation of doctors know that no matter where you come from, your dreams can come true.”
While kindergartners and first-graders can gain understanding of the roles of different medical specialties, Denmark said parents reading “Olivia’s Doctor Adventures” to their children can pick up information, too.
“Medical jargon can often be hard to understand,” she said.
Denmark’s husband is in law school in Charleston, so the couple decided to settle their family in Sumter, where they’ve lived for three years.
“It’s got everything we need,” she said, ” and if I am able to plant the seed of endless possibilities in one child, in the place I call home, I will consider it a mission accomplished.”
“Olivia’s Doctor Adventures” can be purchased through Amazon.com and at www.oliviasdoctoradventures.com. More information about the book can also be found on the website.