January Schofield

January, or as her family calls her 'Jani', is a 6 year-old little girl who likes animals and wants to be a veterinarian. But there is something extraordinary about Jani; She is friends with two other girls, cats, rats, dogs and birds - and only she can see them.

"I'm Jani, and I have a cat named Emily-54 and I'm Saturn-the-rats babysitter", she introduces herself.

Jani has schizophrenia - suffering from delusions, hallucinations and rage so severe her father refers to it, "as though someone is fighting for their life." Sharon Roan, a writer for the Los Angeles Times, spoke with members of Jani's family, her medical team and the several Doctors specializing in Child-onset Mental Illness. There is an incredible short film chronicling the story of Jani, her family and her devastating illness -

. . . Child-onset schizophrenia is 20 to 30 times more severe than adult-onset schizophrenia," says Dr. Nitin Gogtay, a neurologist at the National Institute of Mental Health who helps direct the children's study, the largest such study in the world on the illness. Ninety-five percent of the time they are awake these kids are actively hallucinating," Gogtay says. "I don't think I've seen anything more devastating in all of medicine. . .
Here is the part of the story that had the biggest impact on this Mad Boy -
. . . Although she can't sit still long enough to read a book, she is a voracious learner. She's also bright -- her IQ is 146. Over the years, Jani's parents have entertained her by feeding her information well beyond her years: specifics of evolution, the Roman Empire, the periodic table of elements. 
"What is atomic symbol of tungsten?" her mother asks.
"W" . . .
This article is a MUST READ. . . The amazing story of this little girl will resonate with every Artist and how we approach our own lives & art - the world is lucky to have someone like January Schofield.

The Mad Boy

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