By DIANE TURNER-HURNS Journal & Topics Reporter
Rosemont native Mark Pishotta just finished writing a book about his 10-year-old daughter Kadina who suffers from a rare disease.
“I am determined to give a voice to my daughter with this book,” Pishotta said. “Through this book I explore her world. It serves as a therapeutic tool to cope with her illness and to process life’s challenges.”
Kadina was born with a rare genetic disorder known as Wilms tumor, aniridia, genitourinary anomalies, and mental retardation, or WAGR. It affects the development of many body systems. A fifth-grader, she also has autism and attends Alexander Leigh Center for Autism in Crystal Lake where the Pishottas, including her dad Mark, mom Jennifer and brothers, Austin, 8, and Matthew, 6, now live.
Mark Pishotta will return to Rosemont from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20 to sign copies of his self-published book, “Through My Daughter’s Eyes: Kadina’s Story,” at Lange Park.
“The aniridia portion of the disease causes Kadina visual complications and causes her to be considered legally blind,” Pishotta, a license counselor, said. Aniridia is an absence of the iris, which can cause reduction in the sharpness of vision and increase light sensitivity.
Pishotta said by writing this book, he wanted to transition something negative into something positive. He said the book provides an overview of his need to understand his daughter’s world of constant struggle, which he describes as an emotional roller coaster, and to find solace in her daily accomplishments.
Twenty percent of book sales in Rosemont will go to IWSA for research and treatment of those affected by WAGR syndrome.
“I’m extremely proud of Mark,” Elizabeth Pishotta, Mark’s mom, said recently. She and her husband Jim, who passed away in 2010, lived in Rosemont for decades. They were married 47 years.
“I remember Jim’s father was one of the first volunteer policemen in Rosemont at the time,” she said. “One day Jim went down to the police department to see his dad. When he got there his father literally died in his arms. It was horrible.
“We love Kadina. She can teach people how to love.”
Mark went to Rosemont Elementary School and East Leyden High School. He is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a National Certified Counselor (NCC). Before opening his private practice, he worked in crisis intervention.