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Childcare workers and mothers of toddlers are at greater risk for contracting #1 viral cause of birth defects, congenital cytomegalovirus...

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Connecticut mother of child with preventable disabilities collaborates with Japanese publisher to translate book, "Anything But a Dog! The perfect pet for a girl with congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus)"

Japan Publishing Book About Child With Leading Viral Cause of Birth Defects, Congenital Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Thousand Books Project Team of Tokyo Translating “Anything But a Dog! The perfect pet for a girl with congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus)” by Lisa Saunders

Mystic, Connecticut-- Sayaka Nakai, an English - Japanese book translator with Thousand Books Project Team of Tokyo, is working with Lisa Saunders  of Mystic, Connecticut, to translate her memoir, “Anything But a Dog! The perfect pet for a girl with congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus),” into a Japanese print edition to raise awareness of the leading worldwide viral cause of birth defects, more widespread than Zika.

“Anything But a Dog!” (published 2008, Unlimited Publishing LLC) is about Saunders's disabled daughter, Elizabeth (1989 – 2006), who grew up beside an older, tomboy sister and a series of dysfunctional pets that finally included a big, formerly homeless dog that kept Elizabeth company on her couch.

Tomomi Watanabe, a founder of TORCH Association Japan (TORCH: Toxoplasmosis, Other infections, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes simplex virus, which can cause serious conditions in the fetus or newborn following asymptomatic or mild maternal infection), was given the book by Dr. Naoki Inoue after he met Saunders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA, in 2008 during an international congenital CMV conference.

Watanabe said, "I wanted to get 'Anything but a dog'  published in Japan so more Japanese people would know about children with congenital infections and their families. Although we live far away across the Pacific, I believe we Japanese mothers feel the same way as American mothers do. We are like-minded in our mission, love our children, and regret that our lack of knowledge about CMV led to the disabilities of our children. Now, we wish to save unborn lives and help children with congenital infections and their families because helping others is one way to overcome our sad experiences.  I believe Lisa’s book will make people agree that we have to do something for future children to protect them from congenital CMV." 

Japanese writer Akiko Hosokawa interviewed Lisa Saunders to publicize the need for raising cytomegalovirus awareness and funds to translate and publish “Anything But a Dog!” She asked Saunders questions such as, “Do you know how you caught CMV while pregnant?”; “Did you know about CMV during your pregnancy?”; “Is CMV well-known in the U.S.?”; and “What would you like to say to Japanese people about CMV?” In addition to The Tokyo Shinbun, other Japanese newspapers covering the book project included Hokkaido Shinbun and Kyodo News.

Translator Sayaka Nakai said popular and well-known OB-GYNs, pediatricians, and experts in infectious diseases helped raised funds to publish the book, expected to be released December 2016. Nakai said, “Doctors have promised us they will put the book in their waiting rooms. Mothers have promised us that they will donate extra copies to school libraries.”

In regard to the fundraising required to get the book translated and published, Watanabe said, "Through fundraising, I made friends with many physicians. I knew who they were, and they knew who we were, but we had never worked together. This project made us very close. I'm quite happy about it. A very famous doctor wrote a message asking others to support this project. That was a happy surprise." 

Watanabe was moved when she learned how many doctors and families were willing to fund the project.  She said, "I am confident we are doing right things, and I made up my mind I will keep on going to raise awareness about CMV infection."     

Lisa Saunders, the parent representative of the Congenital Cytomegalovirus Foundation in the United States, continues to try to educate women of childbearing age to refrain from sharing food, cups and utensils with toddlers who are often shedding cytomegalovirus. Other precautions include refraining from kissing toddlers around the mouth and careful hand-washing after changing diapers. In 2015, she was instrumental in helping Connecticut become one of the few states in the U.S. to pass a law to combat the disease.

For more information about the book project, visit:

Photograph caption: At the September 2016 Congenital Cytomegalovirus Public Health and Policy Conference in Austin, Texas, Lisa Saunders met Hiroyuki Moriuchi, MD, PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Pediatrics, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki University Hospital, JAPAN.  Dr. Moriuchi, advisor to TORCH-Japan, shared a presentation created with Tomomi Watanabe, a founder of TORCH Association Japan: Of the Families, by the Families, for the Families Wishing to Reduce or even Eliminate Congenital CMV Infection: Activities by a Patients and Families Association in Japan [PDF]. The slides included their work to translate and publish Saunders's book, “Anything But a Dog! The perfect pet for a girl with congenital CMV (Cytomegalovirus).” (Photograph is a "selfie" taken by Lisa Saunders. At the conference, she and Dr. Brenda Balch presented: As One Door Closed, Another Door Opened: The Congenital CMV Initiative in Connecticut [PDF] and Lisa conducted several interviews with CMV experts including Dr. Demmler-Harrison on prevention: )


Tomomi Watanabe,, a founder and representative of TORCH Association Japan.

Sayaka Nakai,, of Tokyo, English -Japanese book translator, Thousand Books Project Team.

Atsushi Hori,, The English Agency (Japan) Ltd., 3F. Sakuragi Bldg., 6-7-3 Minami Aoyama, Minato-ku Tokyo 107-0062, JAPAN

Akiko, THE TOKYO SHIMBUN writer, 2-1-4 Uchisaiwaicho , chiyoda-ku, TOKYO, 100-8505 Japan, PHONE 03(6910)2320

Hiroyuki Moriuchi, MD, PhD,, Professor and Head, Department of Pediatrics, Nagasaki University Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Nagasaki University Hospital, 1-7-1 Sakamoto, Nagasaki 852-8501, JAPAN. He is also advisor of TORCH-Japan.

Unlimited Publishing LLC, (U.S. Publisher of “Anything But a Dog!”), or visit: