IMessages: A Practical Cancer Guide for Teens by Teens

The Problem

IMessages: A Practical Cancer Guide for Teens by Teens is an inspirational and practical book for teens who are dealing with cancer. Through personal interviews with cancer teens, parents, siblings, friends, Doctors, social workers, and others, the book explores the personal journey of teens with cancer as they progress through diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. The book is a compilation of real-life interviews, tips, FAQs, issues, personal stories, humorous anecdotes, support, inspiration, advice, hospital stay tips, and a glossary of important cancer terms. IMessages: A Practical Cancer Guide for Teens by Teens is written by teens at Riverstone Community School in Boise, Idaho. We are part of the One Stone Foundation, a student-run not-for-profit organization that coordinates Riverstone individual, class, and school-wide community service projects. As students, we serve as directors, officers, and committee members in operating the Foundation. The Foundation combines service objectives with learning objectives in a manner that gives students the opportunity to learn valuable skills and develop important values while empowering us to create positive change in our lives, the school, the community, and the world. To complement the book the book team are introducing a website, www.myimessages.org, that will provide updated links to teen cancer sites, the latest cancer information, new interviews, and a bulletin board for posting IMessages. As part of the research for the book, we discovered that many teens with cancer prefer to use the internet as their primary source for cancer information and peer support. Specifically, teens with cancer appreciate the confidentiality and anonymity of online encouragement. For this reason, our book is entitled IMessages: A Practical Cancer Guide for Teens by Teens. Many teens communicate on the internet using some form of instant messaging (IM). By leveraging the format of this online outlet, the format of the book is comfortable and familiar for teens. For example, the book uses screen names rather than names to protect confidentiality and encourage honest, real answers. The book IMessages: A Practical Cancer Guide for Teens by Teens is focused on teens for two reasons. As teens ourselves, we feel that we can relate with teens better than adults can. Secondly, in our research we discovered that teens with cancer have the least amount of help and support available. By relating real-life stories from teens with cancer to teens with cancer we believe that IMessages: A Practical Cancer Guide for Teens by Teens will assist teens in their recovery process.

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