Morning Mix


Calvin University professors and students write book to spread awareness of rare diseases

Posted at 12:31 PM, Feb 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-18 12:32:00-05

Calvin University professors and students are digging deep to discover more and more about rare diseases. They are doing this in the lab through research, and in recent years they've been applying what they learn to support those in the West Michigan community who are impacted by rare disease.

Professors Rachael Baker and Amy Wilstermann, as well as a couple of their students who helped write and illustrate a children's book on rare disease. They stopped by the studio to talk about their inspiration behind their children's book, "Better Together."

"Better Together" is a story about a child with a rare disorder who longs to play with other children. In a dream, the child sees a tiger whose hind legs are propelled by a set of wheels and whose animal friends find creative ways to include the tiger in their activities. The child awakes and finds the courage to invite other children to play. Readers discover that is it more fun when everyone plays together.

Better Together was written and illustrated by students at Calvin University as a class project. Their goal was to raise awareness about rare diseases and disorders and promote inclusion.

The Rare Disease Day Symposium will take place on Saturday, February 29 at the Prince Conference Center at Calvin University.

To register, visit

For more information about the book, visit