The original testimonial was written by TeamCoben. I am reposting it here with permission.
While Coben has been through so many obstacles, he still has a very hard time accepting that other#children are #sick like him. As #adults I think we want to find others in a similar situation as ours for a sense of #comradery maybe it’s just to know that we’re not alone… ultimately we just want someone to #understand.
But with kids it’s different. Coben and most the kids we meet, keep to themselves, and don’t seem to find the same comfort as adults do in finding someone in like circumstances.
But here is a book created by #parents and their son’s daily #caretaker helping us as parents to open segways with our kids, both #healthy and sick, to grasp an understanding of what it’s like to be different. I asked Coben, “what did he think about other children he had seen in wheelchairs before he had one of his own?” Very sweetly and innocent he said “I thought maybe their legs were broken”
Kids are so matter of fact, so I think it’s important to use family time as an #opportunity to educate them on these topics.
Not long ago Coben had a VERY long day in chemo and wanted ice cream on the way home. Of course I stopped, unloaded his wheelchair, put on his mask, sought out a ramp and worked our way into the shop. Outside sat a family of 5, a set of parents and kids ranging from maybe 5-10… the middle child asks “what’s wrong with him, why is he like that?” (In my mind I responded “you mean what’s right with him?”) But I of course simply said “well, he has cancer” to which the youngest child immediately asks “Is he gonna die?” Something in me didn’t feel comfortable offering a definite “NO” since #truth is no one really knows… there are treatments, not cures. But I realized that I was the only one panicking over that question, Coben didn’t seem to think anything of it.
He has been so educated on his situation that he has a mature grasp on the question of his own mortality.
So again we are reminded, there is so much we can learn from our kids. Take this #September for#ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth as an opportunity to discuss these topics with your children.
They won’t learn compassion and understanding out in the world, so why not use the time at home to learn it as a family? Put your child in the situation… “if you became I’ll tomorrow… if you were confined to a wheel chair… if you couldn’t visit with friends : how would you feel?”
I strongly encourage you to check out Super Captain Brave Man, whether or not the kids walk away with lessons, you certainly will!