Hi! I’m Hannah Reimers. I’m a 24-year-old geek who loves Disney World, penguins, my cat Buttercup and my two pet guinea pigs. I also happen to be a five-year Kidney Transplant Survivor and have recently been diagnosed with several other chronic illnesses, including POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) and Dysautonomia. As little kids, my brother and I created an entire imaginary world full of pretend friends. Eventually, I became a teenager, and our tales of talking cats and underground lands were literally pushed underneath my bed. When I was fifteen, I was diagnosed with a debilitating kidney disease called FSGS. Struggling with harsh treatments and an uncertain future, I pulled out the dusty stack of papers that described the pretend friends of my preteen years. As I fought for my life, I began reading the imaginary stories I had written as a healthy child. Before long, I started writing again, using my imagination as an escape from the daily monotony of needles, doctor’s appointments, and chemo-like medicine.
In June 2010, only one month after graduating high school, I received a kidney from my amazing cousin. Almost immediately thereafter, I began writing a fictionalized version of my real-life journey. It was incredibly boring, and I felt there was a huge piece missing. In March 2012, I finally came to my senses and realized I couldn’t tell the true story of my life without including the completely fictional stories of The Pretend Friend Association. The ‘PFA’: Part One- Story was published on December 21, 2012. Since then, I’ve published two or three each year. As of March 2016, the first seven books are complete and available for download internationally on Amazon. By December 2017, the series will be complete with twelve books.
A kidney transplant is a wonderful treatment, but it is not a cure; therefore, I will continue to fight FSGS for the rest of my life, even while I’m in remission. I recently discovered that I have been fighting several other chronic illnesses since my diagnosis with FSGS, including POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome), Dysautonomia, and several long-term anti-rejection medication side effects. However, I am incredibly blessed to be an author!
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Here is a synopsis of the series:
“There are so many fears that come with being a chronically ill teenager. My most irrational fear was that if I died, my characters would die, too.”
As children, siblings Todd and Anna Grace Shramere created an imaginary world. Guided by nine “Rules of Imagination”, Anna Grace wrote hundreds of stories about a fantastic realm, filled with imaginary friends, secret superheroes, talking stuffed animals, flying cars, and parallel universes.
Several years later, Anna Grace is thrust into the frightening world of hospitals and infusions when she is diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening kidney disease. The sixteen-year-old copes by immersing herself in the fictional stories she wrote as a child. As her health deteriorates, Anna Grace darkens her stories by giving her disease to one of the youngest imaginary characters as well as adding villains and criminals to the once-safe imaginary city. As Anna Grace fights for her life, the fate of the inhabitants of the Underground City hangs in the balance.