RALEIGH, N.C. — Cancer treatments can be a scary experience for children. A 10-year-old Raleigh girl knows firsthand and is writing and illustrating her own book to help others cope.
The Barth family does everything together. When life falls out of balance, they help each other through it. That was the case last summer when Angelica Barth became sick during a trip to South Dakota.
"We took her to the emergency room and found out that she had two large tumors in her stomach. It turned out to be
," said Tiffany Barth, Angelica's mother.
Four months of treatment at Duke summoned all of Angelica's strength and inspired her creativity.
"At first it says, 'Hi, my name is Angelica. You can call me Angel,'" reads the author.
Angelica wrote a book about her experience with cancer -- she is still working on the pictures.
The book idea came when the Barths searched for something like it to help Angelica understand what she was going through.
"There weren't a whole lot of other pamphlets or information that would really help her through it," Tiffany Barth said.
The book reads, "The chemotherapy killed all the bad cells that gave me the cancer. It also killed the good cells which made my hair grow."
A song with the lyrics, "You're an angel, it's so easy to see why everybody loves you," is part of Angelica's story. A New York studio records the songs for children with cancer.
"I liked to listen to my 'Angel, Your Angel' CD while I had my chemo treatments and during my spinal taps," she said.
Music helped Angelica through the treatments, as did the love of friends who sent her beaded bracelets.
"I love my bracelets I especially like making bracelets."
The message of Angelica's book is stay positive. Paul Barth said that is exactly how his daughter endured four months of treatment.
"She's always been in good spirits all the way through while she was at the hospital. She gained a reputation of being upbeat and positive," he said.
Angelica's family is still looking for a publisher for her book. When it is finished, they hope the book will have a place in children's hospitals, and especially at Duke.