Adelaide mum and small business owner Claudia Callisto is adding author to her growing list of achievements with the release of bestselling novel Change Makers Volume 4, in which she is a contributor.
The mum-of-one is sharing her incredible IVF journey in the compilation which includes 25 inspirational and transformational stories from women all over the world and how they overcame their extraordinary struggles.
Released on September 22, it is already an Amazon bestseller in the US, Canada, UK and Australia.
“The Change Makers opportunity entered my life at the right time as I felt that I had the courage to speak my truth no matter how hard it was going to be,” she said.
“I am incredibly honoured and grateful to (publisher) Emma Hamlin in becoming a bestselling author and I am excited about the opportunity of changing the stereotypes and stigma around infertility and IVF.”
Mrs Callisto not only endured six failed IVF treatments over five years, but she also struggled with feeling alone during the gruelling process.
“I simply want to shine a light on how difficult the journey is and the lack of understanding and support there is,” she said.
“By reading my story, I hope to assist others in having a better understanding to therefore be able to provide empathy and a safe space for individuals to talk about their feelings.
“Let’s try to be more aware and supportive and allow the problems of infertility and miscarriage not to be something shameful and an area that is not acknowledged or discussed. Let’s stop hiding behind our masks of pain.”
Being of Italian heritage, she also struggled with comments and expectations to have one child after another, as well as the misunderstanding by many that only having one child was easier than raising two or more children. She regularly heard from other mothers “Oh, you only have one child; it should be easy for you to juggle everything in life”.
But from heartache has grown a labour of love – her business Shining Light, which she established with her sister Diana, who also endured many years of IVF.
“The emotions which accompany the infertility journey were very overwhelming and difficult at times, however through the use of journals and positive affirmations that we both adopted, we were able to believe that we had the inner strength to overcome any challenge life threw at us,” she said.
“Shining Light is the next journey for me and aims at inspiring all women and children to be grateful, positive, resilient and kind. This space also needs individuals to realise that women and children are also facing issues of anxiety and we also need the safe and supportive space to be there for them as mothers,” she said.
Mrs Callisto will be launching the book at a women’s event on Sunday 15 November held at St Joseph’s Hectorville School Hall. At the event she will also be raising funds for several charities including local IVF support groups and initiatives as well as the publisher’s nominated charity Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre www.safesteps.org.au
Personally signed hard copies are now available through the Shining Light website or DM via the Shining Light Instagram page. Retail price of the book is $27.
Shining Light on Instagram: @shininglight.cd