“[The children] keep inspiring me,” said Wallen, who has 12 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren but rarely sees them as most of them live in Tennessee. “What do they do? They love me, and I love them.” Her books, such as “Sonny and Sammy,” focus on people who struggle with disabilities. In 1991, she was diagnosed with Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy. She couldn’t touch anything without pain and had to leave her job at the Tulare County Department of Social Services. That doesn’t stop her from volunteering three to four days a week at the school and regularly at three nursing homes. She brought in her books to read to them, and the children added their own illustrations.
- - Visalia Times-Delta, Jillian Daley, May 19, 2006