IN HIS short 17 years, Lewis Hine has been through more than most adults.
And now the teenager has written a book detailing the daily issues he faces because of his illness, the surprising success of his Friend Finder website and the number of people he has inspired over the years.
I am happy and proud although it was definitely a team effort putting it all together.Lewis Hine
Looking at the Stars tells Lewis’ story in his own words with his mum Emma, clippings from The News and pictures helping him remember it all.
As previously reported in The News, the South Downs College student has spent most of his life in and out of hospital after being diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was a toddler.
He has since had 13 operations and suffers seizures from epilepsy.
The details of his long-running chronic illness make up a large part of his book.
Lewis, from Havant, said: ‘It feels really weird to have my own book. It is a good feeling though being able to tell my story to more people who might be going through similar situations.
‘I am happy and proud although it was definitely a team effort putting it all together.’
Last year when Lewis turned 16, he produced a video about his life which got shared by millions of people worldwide and even got praise from music legend Sir Elton John.
It was through this video that Lewis and Emma were approached by a publisher wanting to create a book.
Emma said: ‘It was a surprise when a publisher said they wanted to tell Lewis’ story in a book.
‘It has been a long process as Lewis has difficulty with reading and writing so he had to dictate to a ghost writer who wrote down what he said.
‘There was a lot of proofing and going back and forth to check we were happy with it but it’s great to have it finally here.’
Lewis will be doing a book signing in Portsmouth on April 10 to help launch the book.
He will be meeting family and friends at WHSmith in Commercial Road, between 4pm and 5pm.
Lewis will also go to London and meet Radio 1 DJ Nick Grimshaw for a Q&A session.
Although he does not have a favourite part of the book, Lewis said everything he has achieved would not have been possible without the support of the community, something he highlights throughout.
He added: ‘When I started the Friend Finder website, I never expected it to get as big as it has.
‘A lot of that is down to my family, friends and people from Portsmouth who have been really supportive.
‘I want to say thanks to them and that’s why I wanted a book signing in the city.’