Kemo Shark is the hero of a sixteen page color "comic book" designed to help children understand the psychological and physiological changes in a parent with cancer who undergoes chemotherapy.
Kemo Shark was written by a child psychologist, H. Elizabeth King, Ph.D., who is also a breast cancer survivor. Her then eight-year-old son, Mitchell McGough, like most children, had a hard time understanding why his mother had to have chemotherapy when it made her feel so bad and caused so many changes in her appearance.
To help himself understand and cope with all these changes, he imagined a shark, Kemo Shark, swimming around in his mother, eating the bad cancer cells and bumping into the good ones, thereby creating some unintended "side effects". His idea became the basis for Kemo Shark, which deals with these issues in a child-friendly way.
Kemo Shark is available in English or Spanish, free of charge, to individuals in countries where English or Spanish is a primary language
KIDSCOPE produced an online video about children's reactions to a diagnosis of breast cancer in their mothers. My Mom Has Breast Cancer includes interviews with seven children and four mothers who have successfully weathered this experience. The video includes this video as well as a narrated version of the comic. The video includes both products in English and Spanish.
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