Young patient describes cancer battle in new book
MONTREAL - Claudia Martino, 12, might be considered too young to pen an autobiography but her dramatic battle against cancer has given her a story that she just had to share.
Claudia's story begins when she was diagnosed with cancer at just four years of age and continues through her recent bone marrow transplant.
She is quite happy to have written the book and views it as a chance of "finally getting to express it to people and saying this is how it happened."
Although she has had a lot of support in her battle, Claudia also details the stigma of her illness, as she recalls how some other kids would avoid her due to her condition.
Her book is entitled My Magic Box in honour of her portacath, a piece of medical equipment that helps her cope.
"I was excited to let all the kids that are going through this to let them know that it's okay, to tell them that they can do it," she said.
"Just because we don't have hair, we don't have eyelashes... doesn't mean we're any different than you."
Her book is the first one to be published under a pilot project at the Montreal Children's Hospital, and the project's coordinator Helen Georgaklis is now working with another patient.
Alex Stathopoulos needs a kidney transplant and undergoes dialysis three times a week.
"I think I'm getting stronger every time I come here," he said of the treatments.
He hopes his book, Give Me a Break, will serve as inspiration for others and a reminder to himself of everything he's endured.
"Maybe when I get much older and I get my kidney transplant I'll read this book and say, 'I did all that,'" said Alex.
The original version of this article contained several errors, which CTV Montreal regrets.