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Book helps children with cancer cope with their disease

Posted: 6:13 PM, Nov 17, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-17 19:13:26-05

Just in time for the holidays you can buy a child a great book and help save lives at the same time. 

"My Dog Named Hope" is a story about a family and how they cope with childhood cancer. Joe Dean is the author of the colorful children's tale.

"This book is about a little girl diagnosed with leukemia and after the natural shock wears off, she gets with her dog Hope and starts to think about how she can help kids in a similar situation," Dean said.

His work on the book was all volunteer.

Dean wants the story to resonate with kids and grownups.

"We're also hearing from parents that its kind of a universal message --the dogs named Hope, Hope gets lost, we all have moments in our life where it feels like we're losing Hope, then the family discovers Hope," Dean said.

Dean takes his book to local schools to share with classrooms. He says meeting families dealing with childhood cancer can be humbling. 

"I think these children somehow intuitively have thru divine intervention," he said. "They understand the power of reaching out to others and not thinking about themselves. It really does help them heal."

Dean shares a heart-wrenching story one dad shared with him.

"One father I met was in the room when the Doctor broke the horrible news, and the first thing the little girl did was look up to him and say I'm so sorry daddy," Dean said.

All profits from "My Dog Named Hope" will go to the MACC fund to help find a cure for childhood cancer and "Designing Dreams," an organization that creates healing rooms for sick kids. 

The We Energies Foundation underwrote the cost of the book. The illustrator Lauren Curwick also volunteered her talent. Curwick hopes to become a pediatric oncologist. 

Dean said, "It's so humbling  to work with these families and do anything to expedite the day when we try and find a cure to pediatric cancer."