Here’s a second post to my “Author! Author!” blog series.
Nancy Keene didn’t set out to become a published author about childhood cancer. It was probably the furthest thing from her mind as a young mother. But after her own daughter, now 24, was diagnosed with cancer, that all changed.
Nancy, along with Wendy Hobbie and Kathy Ruccione, is co-author of the book: “Childhood Cancer Survivors A Practical Guide to Your Future.” The book was first published in 2000 and instantly landed as number five on the Library Journal’s Best Consumer Books of the Year.
The book has just recently been re-issued and updated in its third edition, published by Childhood Cancer Guides. “This book is not just about science, but about the experience of survivorship,” writes the authors in the Preface. “It blends basic technical information in easy-to-understand language with stories and advice from more than a hundred survivors and parents of young survivors… We wanted to explore the richness and variety of the survivorship experience and help survivors feel less alone in their journeys.”
Their book covers a variety of topics, including how to navigate the legal, educational and medical systems, how to handle relationships and how the disease effects different parts of the body–all intended to educate and provide information to families who have or had children with cancer. It is written in a straight-forward, well-organized style that should be accessible to all. In addition, it offers an extensive list of resources available, along with a description of what they do and how to contact them, for those coping with childhood cancer.
On Tuesday, Oct 30, Nancy and her co-author, Wendy, are leading a webconference called Staying Healthy After Childhood Cancer Treatment, sponsored by the National Children’s Cancer Society, a nonprofit organization. The audience is survivors, parents of survivors, and healthcare professionals (nurses and social workers) who can get continuing medical education credits for participating. The PowerPoint program with audio will be archived on the NCCS site at http://www.thenccs.org/web_conference_archive after the presentation.
Childhood Cancer SurvivorsOn November 7 through the 9, she’ll be in Atlanta at the annual conference of Critical Mass: The Young Adult Cancer Alliance (http://criticalmassevents.org/about-us/), a consortium of individuals, organizations, and governmental agencies currently supported by LIVESTRONG to present a poster about the book.
Nancy has a hefty background as an editor and writer who heads up a 30-member team responsible for producing multiple projects for agencies such as the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA], National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA]), Administration for Children and Families, Indian Health Service, and others. She has been the primary author of more than 50 books, E-books and articles for consumers and health professionals.
As an advocate for those with childhood cancer, she works to keep books in print about that topic through the nonprofit Childhood Cancer Guides. “When your life is turned upside down, your need for information is great,” reads the final section at the back of the book from Childhood Cancer Guides.
This is one book that is essential for anyone who has a child with cancer or who, like Nancy, has a childhood cancer survivor.
You can learn more about the book on Facebook at: Childhood Cancer Survivors. Here’s the link: http://on.fb.me/Rtc3k
*Cheryl Crooks is a former journalist and medical reporter for TIME Magazine who now owns her own portrait photography studio in Bellingham, WA.