I connected with Sarah on Twitter after I wrote The 10 Things Parents of Children with Cancer Want You to Know for the Huffington Post. I loved her story and thought it would be perfect for children touched by cancer. I have no commercial investment or benefit in Sarah’s book.
At 33, Sarah Josefsberg was vibrant, healthy and on top of the world—literally. She faced and conquered enormous challenges like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. At 34, she was stunned by a unexpected cancer diagnosis and soon found herself too physically fatigued by chemotherapy to even cross the street, much less conquer mountains like she did not too long ago.
“While most of my friends were pregnant and dealing with the joys of life I was facing death,” said Sarah. “I could feel my life force fading and I fought against it with every ounce of my being. I would go to spinning classes and drink six cups of coffee. I did everything I could to feel like my old self.”
Sarah is bringing an original story about cancer to others with the publication of “Rosie the Rabbit: The Thing about Cancer”.
The story of Rosie, an adorable cartoon rabbit, came to Sarah one restless night after rigorous chemo treatments. Sarah found telling Rosie’s story helped her discuss the difficult topic of cancer with her friends and suddenly she was able to “speak of the unspeakable”. For many families touched by cancer, they’re not sure where to begin. Rosie is there to show them that they’re not alone and although cancer is a big thing, it is not all cancer patients are. Rosie helps celebrate all the things that make you YOU and cancer can’t take that away.
Sarah’s personal experience with cancer allows her to craft a story her readers will relate to and find comfort in. Although the illustrations are charming and Rosie is lovable, the words are candid and poignant. One excerpt from the book reads: “This won’t make you stronger. Or braver. Or true. But every experience, will make you more you.”
When asked what she would tell a child with cancer, Sarah said she’d first want to give them a big hug. She would advise them to try and not to succumb to the sadness and fear of cancer treatment. But mostly she said that children are very smart and will tell you everything you need to hear in their own way, so she would just listen. She hopes everyone affected by cancer will find comfort in Rosie’s message that despite being affected by cancer, you are still you.
“I hope the book helps people connect and share their experiences with the people they love. I hope this book makes conversations about cancer easier for families and friends. My biggest hope is that one day someone writes to me and tells me that Rosie’s story helped them feel a little better. If Rosie can help people through this ordeal, I know she will have been a success.”
This illustrated book is available for pre-order now and due to be shipped in mid-April of 2017. Sarah named Rosie after a dear friend’s mother, who tragically died of cancer. Sarah wishes to dedicate Rosie’s story to everyone touched by cancer so she’s printing the first 100 names of those affected by cancer who request to be included in each printed copy. If you wish to be included, you can submit your own name or that of a loved one when placing your order at the Rosie’s website before March 1. You can order your copy here.