Local teen creates book as tool for children with cancer
EDINBURG - Alessandro Bernini is a 17-year-old aspiring psychologist.
His curiosity, open mind and caring heart lead him to create a special book for children diagnosed with Leukemia cancer.
The book is called “Making cancer not so scary.”
He made the book as a tool for psychologists and doctors to connect with pediatric patients diagnosed with Leukemia.
“It’s really hard to enter children’s mind especially from such a young age and see what they are going through, because it must take a mental strain on them,” Alessandro said.
One year ago, he came up with the idea to create the book while shadowing his father, DHR pediatric oncologist, Dr. Juan Bernini.
“I was able to see that doctor patient interaction and kind of see how they did it and in what ways I can help with that,” Alessandro said.
He said that his vision came to life with help from his mentor, child life specialist, Edith Castillo,“I included information about Leukemia. The basics of Leukemia, their cells, how chemotherapy is introduced and how it helps them battle leukemia.”
Alessandro also added games and writing room for journal entries in the book. Thus providing opportunity for kids to express themselves.
“Leukemia is the most common type of childhood cancer. Thirty percent, one third of kids with cancer will have Leukemia but it’s also one of the easiest to treat. Nowadays it depends on the Leukemia, but ninety five percent of the kids with Leukemia can be cured,” DHR pediatric oncologist, Dr. Juan Bernini said.
Alessandro says helping children learn how to cope with cancer, chemotherapy and painful procedures has been life changing.
“Whatever they do, whatever they set their mind to do, I know that they can do it,” he shared.
In honor of childhood cancer awareness month, Alessandro printed 50 books and donated them to the DHR child life specialists department Wednesday.