Katie Strumpf
"Helping kids with cancer.......a cancer survivor's story"  
As a childhood cancer survivor, I knew that I would one day write a book to help kids with cancer. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 1991, I experienced a wide range of emotions; fear, anger, loneliness, and worst of all; helplessness. I felt like I had lost control of my body; in one of the most frightening ways-to a disease I didn't even understand. Cancer gripped my life in terrifying way, and turned the world as I knew it upside down.

No longer a carefree young girl preoccupied with childhood thoughts, I was thrust into a world where cancer called the shots. Instead of days filled with school, playing outside, movies, sleepovers with friends; my world consisted of chemotherapy treatments, spinal taps, bone marrow aspirations, and endless shots. My fight against cancer was not unique, approximately 12,400 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. My motivation for writing this book stemmed from my desire to help young cancer patients feel less isolated and helpless in their battle against cancer.

I Never Signed Up For This!: An Upfront Guide to Dealing with Cancer at a Young Age explains how the rest of life is affected by cancer. This book explores topics such as the fear of death at a young age, losing hair to chemotherapy, dealing with friends, and returning to school. I intentionally kept the book short, ideally it is the kind of book in which kids can read in a few sittings. I believe this book is unique because it is very straightforward, and while it deals with a sensitive topic, it does so in a upbeat manner. I hope that this book helps kids with cancer feel less alone in their battle against this frightening disease. If one child feels less alone and helpless than I did in my fight against cancer, then I have suceeded.

It is unfortunate, but cancer is the universal connector. Everyone has a story of how cancer has affected their lives; whether it is their mom, uncle, neighbor, best friend, or son. Childhood cancer is one of the injustices of the world, and it can never be understood why such pain would be inflicted on innocent children. I wish there was no need for a book such as this, I wish that no child was subjected to the horrors of cancer. However, childhood cancer is evident around the globe, and as a childhood cancer survivor, I want to help these kids with cancer.

Doctors heal with medicine, I hope to heal with words. I believe that people are put in this earth for very specific reasons. Some are meant to be ballet dancers, some statisticians, others doctors. While I don't have the grace of a dancer's feet, the calculating mind of a statistician,or the skill of a surgeon's hand, I do have the ambition and empathy to help kids with cancer. I believe I was put on this earth to help kids with cancer, and I got to stay on this earth to help those kids not so different from the cancer survivor that I am.

Thank you for visiting my website!

Katie

"Helping kids with cancer.......a cancer survivor's story"