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Brian Kraft’s tale of cancer, chemo and coping with a cold head

Sep 08,2013 | Posted in Parent Blogs, Parent Stories, Reading, Science, Teaching by Denise Readinger

Our family is dealing with a medical crisis right now. My husband recently started chemotherapeutic treatments to help fight testicular cancer. The percentages for a cure are high (90%) and it helps to remember this fact throughout our day-to-day lives.

As a teacher, I quickly researched books that would help my family cope with the upcoming changes that we were about to experience. I found a great parenting book to refer to and I came across a few children’s book that piqued my interest. Unfortunately, the market was low for the type of book I was looking to use with my boys. Turns out, the author of The Year My Dad Went Bald experienced the same thing when looking for titles to turn to during his cancer diagnosis and treatment. The Year My Dad Went Bald is written & illustrated by Brian Kraft, a cancer survivor. Brian was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2008 and has been cancer-free since 2009.

Feeling there were limited options for children whose parents have cancer, Brian decided to write a book of his own. I ordered the book directly through Brian Kraft’s website and it arrived during the first week of my husband’s treatment. Just in time. I read the book to my boys at bedtime on the third night of treatment. At this point, my husband was still feeling good and wasn’t experiencing any side effects.

Brian’s book is informative, humorous and honest. The cartoon-like illustrations express the feelings of the characters and are quite entertaining. The drawings put a comfortable twist on a serious subject and allowed my boys to ask questions about what’s to come.

Being a family that enjoys sports, we connected with Brian’s tale of chemo and coping. The story is told through the eyes of his 9-year-old son, so that also helped make this touchy subject more approachable for young children.

This is Brian Kraft’s first book and a portion of all profits from the sale of this book are being donated to Hockey Fights Cancer, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

At some point in our lives, we are all affected by this horrible disease. If you or someone you love is fighting cancer, this book could help the children involved. Throughout the treatment process, I plan to revisit this book with my kids. If you know of other children’s books to help in a similar situation, feel free to share below.

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