Brave cancer patient pens book to help families deal with stress of diagnosis

Donia and her daughter

‘The Monster in Mummy’

A mum from Thurrock has written a children’s book to help young Mothers and families cope with the stress of a Cancer diagnosis when trying to explain to their children.

Donia Youssef was diagnosed with cancer on April 21 last year just after her 39th birthday and being a mother of two very young children started campaigning to raise awareness on the emotional benefits of open communication between cancer patients and their children.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer which had spread to my lymph nodes and was told I had a 60 per cent survival rate. Being faced with mortality in this way was terrifying and having to undergo chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, radiotherapy and ongoing hormone therapy treatment, I felt my children needed to know what journey their mummy and our family was about to endure.

“Being open and honest is almost always the best way with children as they pick up on things not being right. Uncertainty may be harder for children to cope with than the truth and they only need simple explanations.

“My book’s main aim is to help create awareness, encourage effective communication and offer various coping strategies.

“I will be donating proceeds from my book to the Royal Marsden Cancer charity along with donations to Cancer Active Charity, the look good feel good cancer charity, Tailor Made dreams charity, and the Willow foundation charity too. The charities have also contributed to the book so it is very special.”

Donia has had fantastic feedback and media coverage on the book so far.

“Joanna Lumley has also written a piece for the book and we are at the development stages of turning the book into a feature film and have already been in discussion with Joanna Lumley’s PA and agent on her playing my mother in the film.”

Donia won the 2018 Authors awards for her book last month and has recently featured on the front cover Global Sovereign magazine, along with her book becoming Amazon bestseller number one within a few days.

To buy the book please visit


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