“Telling your child, you are ill must be one of the most difficult things to do and in ‘The Monster in Mummy’, Donia has shown us a way to do it”.
Helen Frith Powell (p. X1)
Donia Youssef, a successful local mother with a young family faced the shocking medical diagnosis of breast cancer in Spring 2017. Cancer treatment followed at The Royal Marsden Hospital, including chemotherapy and ultimately a BRCA2 gene double mastectomy. Inspired by her journey to healing, Donia has written an accessible, illustrated book to help mothers communicate and cope alongside their families during their own challenging healing journeys.
The book promotes an approach to healing that is family inclusive and seeks to balance the inevitable medical challenges and health hurdles with suggestions about how to successfully integrate positive family and self-care experiences along such a journey.
Donia has already received both TV and newspaper coverage for her comprehensive book. Joanne Lumley, actress, offers her own support to the book, detailed on the back-book cover
The key message throughout the book is the promotion of the value and importance of maintaining clear, truthful communication within families throughout a healing journey. Her book offers invaluable tips and information based on her own experience.
‘The Monster in Mummy’ includes an illustrated children’s story section, narrating simply Donia’s progressing illness and recovery. There is also an invaluable section giving tips about answering key health and life questions from children, followed by a section exploring Donia’s own holistic health journey with information from the practioners that assisted her, including their details,
Among the largely private holistic health practioners featured within the book is Dr Gill Barham, who offers what she describes as an integrated approach to prevention and recovery from cancer, looking specifically at food as medicine, Dr Barham details comprehensively foods to avoid and foods to eat and the associate research evidence that justifies her advice.
Health charities that assisted Donia in her recovery and supported the book are listed with their details, these include; Look Good Feel Better, Cancer Active, Taylor Made Dreams and The Willow Foundation who also offer The London Football Awards.
A glossary of cancer medical terms explained is offered at the close of the book alongside a list of useful books and resources for mothers, family and their children completes the book.
Donia’s own inspiring story runs through the whole book from start to finish. At the well-attended Waterstones, (Greenwich), book launch, Donia and her family radiated wellness and were a living testament to the success of the healing approach promoted in the book.
Donia will be donating a proportion of the funds raised from her book to the charities that have helped her, all identified in the text.
This is a must-read insightful upbeat book containing critical information and encouragement for mothers who are facing cancer and is an accessible resource for their children. Donia skilfully offers an inspiring, accessible, relatable book packed with tips and tools for any mother facing a healing journey through cancer.
Words: Barbara Ward for Maritime Radio – Arts & Culture editor
The Monster in Mummy by Donia Youssef, published by Tiny Angel Press Ltd (2018)
£14.99, available at Waterstones and on Amazon.