Local author is making a difference with premature birth


GREEN BAY - A local author and grandmother is making a difference with a book she authored after the early arrival of her grandson.

Playing games with your child, or in this case grandchild, is one of the joys of life.

One family from Green Bay relishes every moment.

"Birth to me was always a miracle. I never knew there was so much that could go wrong," said Leanne Beno of Green Bay.

Her grandson, Jude, was born prematurely at St. Vincent Hospital, coming into the world at just 28 weeks. He weighed one pound, 13 ounces.

"It was... it was really scary... very touch and go for three to four days there," said Beno.

That's when she had the idea to write a book, titled "When Is Baby Coming Home?"

At the time, she had just started working at a neo-natal intensive care unit at Aurora Medical Center. So she was familiar with the uncertainty parents can feel and the confusion for siblings when the baby has to stay in the hospital.

Leanne says the pages of the book help explain, especially to children, what is happening.

"The book has pictures of the type of bed your brother is sleeping in. And it explains what kind of food and how they get their food, when they can come home, and why you can't visit," said Beno.

The pictures in the book are pictures of Jude. The older sibling asking mom questions is Jude now. And the baby in the book is Jude in the hospital.

"It's difficult to explain to a child that their sibling is there. That's just another thing on top of everything they have to deal with," Toni Reider of Green Bay.

Toni Reider is Jude's mom and Leanne's daughter. She says she would have loved a book like this after Jude was born.

"I was pretty much eager to read anything I could about the situation, see any images, relate to anyone. Just because that really helps in your whole journey," said Reider.

Leanne has donated several copies of her book to St. Vincent Hospital.

And from that, she's gotten feedback that tells her she is making a difference for children and parents.

"One of the nurses told me the dad read it, and couldn't say anything. He was crying and so emotional. They said it was just perfect for them to bring home," said Beno.

Leanne is working on getting some books donated to the Aurora Medical Center.

You can buy a copy for $14 at Seroogy's stores.