Written and illustrated by a bone marrow transplant recipient who used CaringBridge through treatment for a recurrence of acute lymphoblastic leukemia, this upbeat and compassionate book helps kids ages 9-12 and their adult caregivers navigate bone marrow or stem cell transplants.
“Neutrophil” is an illustrated white blood cell—complete with top hat, walking stick and cool sunglasses—who breaks down aspects of a stem cell transplant in age-appropriate tone and language. Rob Henslin created the character as a “host and guide” to explore a topic that may feel complex and scary to kids and grownups alike.
“There is really no other book out there to help young kids and their adult caregivers navigate a stem cell transplant journey,” Rob said. “Given that I traveled the road myself, I wanted to create something to help others.”
Chapter titles follow the journey from “What is a Bone Marrow or Stem Cell Transplant?” to “Life After Transplant,” and the book also includes an extensive list of resources for family caregivers.
This book follows two memoirs published by Rob, the first in 2011. “But I Was in Such a Good Mood This Morning: Facing Cancer and Other Harsh Realities in My Life,” recounts his original leukemia diagnosis at age 26, and a relapse nearly 20 years later, in 2008, during which he and his wife wrote on CaringBridge.
In 2014, he published, “When You See the Cows, Make a Left: Finding Greener Pastures on the Other Side of Tragedy.” Rob’s health is stable today, and he continues to share his story of hope and healing, with the hope of helping others.