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Book: What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer

What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer is a book written with purpose of relieving the anxiety and confusion that comes from a child's cancer diagnosis and treatment.

  • ⭐ "I love your books! You use the same wording so many child life specialists use to explain cancer. Thank you for writing these books!" — Amy F., CCLS.

  • ⭐ "This is something that a social worker should be giving to families at diagnosis." — Kristin B., mom of a pediatric cancer patient.

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, life flips upside-down. Suddenly, our days (and our thoughts) are dominated by doctors, nurses, child life specialists, and a million technical terms that will make anyone's head spin. Add extreme fear and anxiety to that, and you've got a recipe for the most stressful time in a family's life.

Pages from "What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer", the best book for kids with cancer by Sara Olsher

What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer covers the main points of pediatric cancer — what it is and what the experience of treatment is like — and shows how it can change a kid's day.

The book is great for ages 4 -10 and discusses:

  • The science of cancer
  • Changes to routines
  • Surgery and anesthesia
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hair loss and hair changes
  • Port, central line, and tubies
  • Hospital stays
  • Radiation
  • Scans and blood draws
  • Emotions relating to cancer

Pages from "What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer", the best book for kids with cancer by Sara Olsher

Over the course of a year and with the help of both experts and families who have been through pediatric cancer, author and illustrator Sara Olsher explains the science of cancer (in an age-appropriate, totally non-scary way) and uses an illustrated calendar to show how various treatments affect a child's day-to-day.

This method of teaching is based on decades of solid science about how kids learn and cope with the major day-to-day changes that result from issues like cancer. By creating a routine that kids can see and understand, parents can restore a sense of safety and predictability in their kids' lives, helping them to be more resilient in the face of life's inevitable challenges.

Pages from "What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer", the best book for kids with cancer by Sara Olsher

What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer? helps families that want to reduce their kids' anxiety surrounding a very scary diagnosis. It aims to empower kids with knowledge, which is proven to help kids through traumatic situations.

Join Mia and her stuffed giraffe Stuart as they explain the science of cancer and how a child’s diagnosis and treatment affects their day-to-day life. What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer uses bright and fun illustrations to show how cells can turn into cancer, and helps reduce confusion about how cancer treatment affects a kid’s life.

Pages from "What Happens When a Kid Has Cancer", the best book for kids with cancer by Sara Olsher

"Most of the time we do the same things in the mornings. We wake up. We eat breakfast. (I like apples. Stuart only eats bugs.) ... When something big changes, what we do each day can change too. Stuart wants to know what happens to our days when we have cancer. "

Meet Mia and Stuart

With her messy pigtails and sunny personality, Mia brings a bit of fun to books about hard topics. Explaining life's toughest stuff to her toy giraffe Stuart, Mia is the star of the What About Me? book series, where she's able to help kids feel safe by explaining exactly what they can expect when faced with big changes.

About the Author

Sara Olsher is the founder of Mighty + Bright, which helps families through hard things like divorce, cancer, and other major changes using visual magnetic calendars. Based on decades of research about emotional intelligence and how to talk to kids so they actually learn, Mighty + Bright's calendars have helped hundreds of families through some of the hardest times in their lives.

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