Julie Aigner Clark knows the importance of a child's love, especially during the darkest days. Clark is well known as the founder of the Baby Einstein Company and the Safe Side. She is also a two-time breast cancer survivor.
Clark was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004. At the time, she made what many call a radical decision, choosing to have both of her breasts removed, even though the cancer was stage 1. Unfortunately, 4-and-a-half years later, Clark's cancer returned. It was close to her armpit, in the same area, but this time it was very aggressive and ranked as stage 4.
When Clark realized she needed chemotherapy, she started to worry about her daughters.
"What occurred to me is that in a very literal sense kids look at us and they know what they see, so I could tell my girls mommy's going to be okay, I'm going to be all right, but they would look at me say wow I think mommy's dying," Clark said.
It was this thought that inspired Clark to write a children's book. It is called "You Are the Best Medicine." Clark is giving the proceeds to UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center because of its pioneering role in developing life-saving cancer treatments.
Clark's breast cancer is HER2-positive, which occurs in one of every 5 breast cancers. It tends to be more aggressive and less responsive to hormone treatment. Herceptin is one treatment used specifically on HER2 cancers, and it was developed by a researcher at the UCLA cancer center.
In her book, Clark uses parallels to make connections between things that children can understand and what a mom might be going through while fighting breast cancer. For example, she writes about when a baby is newborn and they have a bald and warm head and how mommy's head will be just like that when her hair falls out from the medicine.
Julie hopes her book will teach children they are their parents' best medicine, and with their love they always feel better.
If you would like to know more, go to www.youarethebestmedicine.com.
Also, you can learn more about the UCLA Cancer Center by going to www.cancer.ucla.edu/BestMed.
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