An Open Letter To JK Rowling

Jenny Harrington
6 min readMar 18, 2019
Dragon escaping Gringott’s. Photo Credit: Jenny Harrington

My one and only fan mail letter.

Back in January of 2017, I wrote one letter. I was too tired to write anything else. My son was deep in treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukemia and he was deeply in love with Harry Potter. So, I penned a thank you note to JK Rowling.

His treatment exhausted us both to the bone. But the one of the biggest lessons I learned in our experience battling his cancer was the importance of gratitude. Gratitude for every little thing: meals delivered, LEGO sets sent, empathy, comfort in the form of hot tea or word on a page, even puncutation telling us it’s time to put the book down and rest. I was compelled to write JK Rowling to say thank you for making my sick son’s life, not only bearable, but alive with imagination.

And she wrote back. Actually, one of her staff wrote back with a lovely letter explaining that Harry Potter’s creator was very busy. The care package include a few postcards of Scotland and a pin of Harry Potter on his Nimbus 2000.

We visited The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ — Universal Studios Hollywood December 2018. It was pure magic. My kids say, “The best vacaction ever.”

If you are thinking of thanking someone you admire or want to express gratitude, stop thinking and start doing. If you are thinking of taking that once-in-a-life-time trip, make it happen. Now. You have one life and it is breathtakingly, heartbreakingly short.

I am grateful I wrote this letter; it has even more meaning to me now. Older siblings’ names have been changed, but Ewan stays the same. “Always.”

Dear JK Rowling:

If ever there is a boy who deserves to live, he is the one. His name is not Harry Potter; his name is Ewan. At age seven, he is old enough to understand that he is too young to receive a letter of acceptance into Hogwarts but he is too young to not believe that it can’t happen. He believes in the legend of Santa riding the world in his sled at Christmas. He believes the Easter Bunny hides hand-dyed eggs and he whole-heartedly believes in the magic of The Boy Who Lived.



Jenny Harrington

Author, researcher, mother living on an island near Seattle. Now, notably, an international bunny smuggler. Find her struggles and snuggles at