Make-A-Wish recipient releases a book to help kids diagnosed with cancer

PLAINVILLE, Mass. (WLNE) — The Make-A-Wish foundation of Massachusetts and Rhode Island hosted an event for a brand-new book aimed at helping cancer survivors, written by one of their own Make-A-Wish kids.

‘Amelia Takes on Cancer: An Interactive Journal for your Own Cancer Journey,’ was written by a young cancer survivor, Amelia Zai, who was diagnosed at just 10-years-old.

Now entering college, Zai wanted to use her wish to create something that could help kids dealing with a cancer diagnosis feel a little less alone, something she struggled with during her time in chemo.

“During such a difficult time, it’s really hard to navigate what you’re feeling and what other people are going through. So, having this book would have allowed me to sort of journal down and jot down my thoughts. And I think it would have prompted me to make more connections, which I thought were very, very valuable throughout my journey,” Zai told ABC 6 News.

This wasn’t Zai’s first wish, initially she wanted to go on a food tour across Thailand, but after some thought, she said she realized she wanted to give something back to the community that had taken her in when she needed it most.

“I’m really glad I made this wish,” said Zai. “It allowed me to open my mind and think of a different wish, create this book, and I’m really, really grateful I have something to give back to the cancer community.”

While making this book, Zai decided to donate the proceeds back to the Make-A-Wish foundation.

Zai also set up a GoFundMe to let people donate to send her book to kids who might need it, and Make-A-Wish staff say wish recipients giving back is getting more and more common.

“It’s becoming a little bit more prevalent. However, this is a really unique situation, and Amelia is such a giving person. We were so surprised by her generosity. Again, it’s enough that we’re giving her this wonderful gift, and yet she’s giving it right back to us,” said Amy Carrol, Vice-President of Mission Delivery with the Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island branch.

The whole process took just over two years, from the original idea to getting ‘Amelia takes on Cancer’ onto shelves Thursday.

Categories: Massachusetts, News