Thursday, December 2

Children’s words to cope with the trauma of cancer

Olga Avellán, author of My Mom Has No Hair. | INFORMATION

This Alicante, mother and journalist He wanted his story against cancer to serve all those who go through diseases and do not know how to tell it to their little ones. «The project was born from the need to tell Alejandro, my oldest son, what we were living at home» and that is Olga was found to have a very aggressive cancer which led to an emergency mastectomy and very intensive treatment that left her weak. “We distance ourselves out of fear,” he says.

When this mother tried to find a way to tell her son what was happening to him decided to resort to stories. “My husband and I searched like crazy for the story that would talk about emotions, that would make him understand what was happening, but there were none.” So, she decided to write it herself, using the emotions her little one was feeling and verbalizing as a roadmap. “By telling my little boy, he was telling me too. Was a self-assimilation exercise», he reports.

Andi is the protagonist of this endearing story that deals with the feelings experienced by the child in the face of the changes produced in his life by his mother’s breast cancer. My mother has no hair, tells in the first person how Andi, from one day to the next, begins to go very often to some friends ‘house, to her uncles’ house, many days she leaves before eating with her grandfather, without understanding why his mother is no longer with him as she was before. «She tired, he lost. The two lost, “says the author. That’s how cancer drives them away and affects them emotionally, until one day his mother talks to him and tells him what is happening to him. By involving him in this difficult process, Andi empathizes with her mother and they relive the union they had before. “Because living the process together makes everything easier,” says Olga.


This story has behind Óscar Amat, co-author of the story and a Primary Education teacher specialized in assimilating learning in children with different abilities, and Begoña Amat, who is in charge of bringing the story to life through drawing. Something fundamental of the stories are the illustrations, thus, they decided resort to color therapy to attract the attention of the little ones. “They are the ones who give names to the emotions they see in the illustrations of the story,” says the author.

The project also has the participation of a clinical psychologist, three child psychiatrists and two pedagogues with the aim of adapting the language to the little ones so that they assimilate what the story is talking about and free themselves from a feeling of loneliness, exclusion and incomprehension in the face of the “secrecy” that adults often use in moments where the disease lurks.

“When my son accepted and assimilated that I was ill, he began to empathize with me, it was one of the best medicines,” says the journalist.

Thus, Olga explains that this story, although it is thinking for children between 3 and 7 years old, also serves as therapy for adults. “The story has a two-way message, which makes us all reflect,” he explains. And it is that adults and children go through similar phases when it comes to accepting and understanding a disease. “The end of My mom has no hair is acceptance, something that each and every one of us has to go through in any situation,” he says.

Right now, My mom has no hair, she’s plunged into a crowdfunding campaign to raise all the necessary funds and produce the maximum possible number of copies. From the hand of the Editorial and Producer Cultura La Voltereta, with a pre-sale campaign that has exceeded all expectations, the story will be released in October, coinciding with World Day Against Breast Cancer.

In addition, 50% of the funds raised will go to the creation of a research grant for the early detection of breast cancer that will be managed through the Spanish Federation of Breast Cancer (FECMA) and with the collaboration of Affected Women of Aspe Breast Cancer.

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