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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Our Friend Karyn's Story

When Toronto mom Karyn Stowe was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago, she looked everywhere for a realistic and child-friendly resource to help her three young children understand the various treatments she had to  go through.  All the books Stowe found were so overwhelming and scary she decided the only solution was to write her own.  Today, Stowe’s The Kids’ Guide to Mommy’s Breast Cancer – a positive, easy-to-understand resource for young families living with breast cancer – is available across Canada.

Based on the original stories Stowe wrote during her treatment, The Kids’ Guide to Mommy’s Breast Cancer features carefully selected images and text that are hopeful but realistic.  The Tips section contains helpful suggestions on how parents can use the books as well as ideas on how to talk to your child about breast cancer.  In the Treatment section, each treatment is explained in its own separate chapter so it can be read in any order and if, and when, mom faces it.  The Finished Treatment section looks at the many lifestyle changes that often take place after a cancer diagnosis in a kid-friendly way.
Stowe’s book went from dream to reality because of the support of Rethink Breast Cancer, a Canadian charity that runs a number of programs specifically for younger women affected by breast cancer.   In addition to providing Stowe with invaluable support during treatment, Rethink offered a Booby Innovation Grant to breast cancer survivors who have an idea that will  help other women who are diagnosed with breast cancer.  Stowe was selected as a recipient of the grant and she immediately started working on the book.

“In addition to helping children understand the many changes that are happening in their families while mom is in treatment, this book also helps women and their partners see what lies ahead of them,” says Stowe.  “It also helps friends and neighbours explain to their own young children why their friend’s mom has no hair or why their family is cooking a meal to help them.”
The Kids’ Guide to Mommy’s Breast Cancer is available at on-line booksellers (including Authorhouse, Chapters, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon).  Limited copies are also available through Rethink Breast Cancer and cancer care clinics across Canada. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to Rethink Breast Cancer.  For more information, and to see a preview of the book, please visit

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