“Brooke! Brooke! I’ve got big bumps on my skin!” “Oh! Yep, you have acne.”

“Acne?”

“Yeah, acne. Otherwise known as pimples.”

“Pimples?! Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!”

“Jack, Jack! It’s OK.”

“Easy for you to say! You don’t have them!”

“Jack, just calm down and I’ll tell you how to fix them.”

“You will?”

“Yeah, Dr. Brad says that the reason pimples happen is because of your liver.”

“My liver? What’s that got to do with anything?”

“Everything, actually. But Jack, the reason pimples pop up is because your liver is overworked. If your liver is weak...”

“Excuse me? My liver is not weak.”

“OK, fine. Then there are probably too many hormones flying around inside you, and your liver’s job is to take care of them. But if you insist that your live isn’t weak, that means that your liver can’t quite handle them all those hormones. So it sends them up to your pores, which releases oil. But this oil now has a bunch of extra hormones in it, making it toxic and creating...”

“Pimples, right?”

“Bingo.”

“So how do I get rid of them?”

“Well, Jack, how much sugar do you normally have per day?”

“Probably like as many fruit snacks as I can find in the pantry. Plus lots of chocolate bars. And cookies. Probably something like sixty to seventy grams.”

“Okay, well that explains it! That is too much sugar! And too much sugar isn’t healthy for your body, namely your liver. So try to aim more for, say, ten grams per day.”

“Ten grams a day! No way!”

“You’ll get used to it. And try to drink about sixteen ounces of water half an hour before every meal. And stop making faces! I know lemonade tastes better, but water is healthier. And besides, do you want to get rid of your pimples or not?”

Sigh. “I suppose so, pass me your water jug, will ya?”

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This short story is written by one of Hope Clinic's 12 year old patients who, when he isn't tearing up the soccer field or baseball diamond, spends time beating his dad at chess and practicing to become an author.