books, Childhood Cancer

Will Jax Be Home for Thanksgiving?

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. As such, I want to let you know about a new picture book coming out this November: Will Jax Be Home for Thanksgiving? Written by Samarrah Fine Clayman and illustrated by Amy Preveza, this tender story showcases the love a sister holds for her younger brother, who has a brain tumor.

Jax Cover

Will Jax Be Home for Thanksgiving? is told through the older sister’s point of view, a perspective often lost when families are dealing with the pain and worry over a child undergoing cancer treatment. The short, inquisitive sentences and descriptions are realistic: “Are the doctors nice?” “Will you be home for Thanksgiving?” “The next week, Mom and Dad keep taking turns sleeping at the hospital.”

If you are looking for a book for siblings of childhood cancer patients, this is a good one to explain what could happen with family dynamics. Given a scary environment filled with changes and uncertainty, Clayman’s child-friendly language and Preveza’s bright colors make for an optimistic, hopeful read.

Further, Clayman writes with authority on the subject, as she pulls from her own experience. In 2017, her 23-month-old son was diagnosed with an ependymoma, a rare brain tumor found mainly in young children. While the treatment involves surgery and radiation, the tumor can often reoccur, and there is no cure. For this reason, she and her husband created The Ependymoma Research Foundation, and all profits from the sale of this book will be donated there.

For more information on the author, visit www.SamarrahFineClayman.org.

For more information on the illustrator, visit www.amypreveza.com.

Childhood Cancer, Parenting

WHAT I’VE LEARNED: TIPS FOR PARENTS OF KIDS WITH ALL (Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Blog)

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My daughter Mackenzie was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in January 2014. Despite being the most common form of childhood cancer that has a very prescribed protocol with better-than-most survival rates, the diagnosis petrified me. My nine-year-old had cancer…

Read the rest at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society blog.