DAVIE, Fla. – This year, roughly 1.8 million Americans will be diagnosed with some form of cancer, many of them parents of young children who struggle to understand what’s happening.
That’s what motivated Tamara Rodriguez, herself a breast cancer survivor and mother of two young girls, to create a picture book called “Hair to the Queen,” in an effort to open a conversation about cancer with kids.
“My hope is that parents realize that kids need to know the truth and they need to be a part of the process," she said. "It makes them feel like they’re contributing and they get it. We think we are going to shelter our kids, we think that they don’t need to know and it’s going to be fine. For my family, it gave me strength that my kids knew because they came to me and said, ‘Mommy, are you going to be OK today? What can I do to help you?’ So they felt as much a part of the process as my husband and my colleagues, so to me, it made a world of difference.”
The book has been published in English, Spanish and Creole and now is on a platform that can be accessed by educators.
Rodriguez has also written a sequel about children dealing with cancer called “Teo the Great.”