The Beverly breast cancer survivor and advocate for the disabled released her self-published book Feb 25. It details Simon's life before and after Nate Simon arrived into the world on Nov. 26, 2003, with Down syndrome.
"Life has thrown me a ton of curve balls," said Simon, who also takes readers along on her recent journey that includes diagnosis, treatment and recovery from Stage II breast cancer.
Simon started a foundation named I am who I am in January 2012. The charity was created in response to the way doctors and nurses reacted to Nate's birth. Rather than applaud the newborn and his mother, most hospital staff apologized to Simon for her son's condition.
Lost forever was the chance to celebrate the new baby — the fifth and final child for Simon and her husband Dan, who works as a lieutenant in the Chicago Police Department.
"'He might not amount to much' is the most common thing you hear," she said, adding that the infectious love she would receive from her son was never mentioned early on.
Simon began writing about her experiences with Nate as well as being a South Side mom in her blog called Glitter on the Side. The posts served as a launching pad for her book that took about five years to come together.
She had finished the book in summer 2014, but put the project on hold after she was diagnosed with breast cancer that June. She underwent a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiation.
"It was awful, but I wrote through it," she said, later adding that the experience made her a stronger person and more ardent advocate for children who are born different.
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: