Radiation therapist writes children's book, donates profits to help toddler with cancer
Cierra Aber just published her first children's book, "Daddy's Glasses," this summer.
When she heard about a local toddler, Shaun Richardson, who is suffering from leukemia, she wanted to help. Using her book to help raise funds for the family would be a great way to spend the profits from August book sales, she thought.
"My co-worker actually had mentioned it to me; she knew a family member," said Aber, who works as a radiation therapist at an adult cancer center in Chambersburg.
"We were kind of brainstorming between the two of us, and it just so happened that I had just written this children's book and I thought: Well, I make $2 for every book that I sell. What if we donated that," she said.
The book, inspired by Aber's own son, teaches young children to be kind and not grab and pull things.
Writing has always been a hobby for Aber - a way to relieve stress. While she's written books in the past, "Daddy's Glasses" was the first she has published.
"What really got me as far as their situation is that I see cancer patients every day, but they're all adults, and I guess that we just expect as you get older you get sick," she said. "When you hear of a child with cancer, it kind of hits different. I personally have a son who's 1 year old, so I think of him, and it just it breaks my heart to think that that could be him."
Aber initially reached out to the family through their GoFundMe page, Keep Shaun Smiling, where the boy's grandmother, Jeanie Haldeman, is aiming to raise $7,000 for the family.
Shaun, diagnosed with leukemia in July, is just 21 months old. He has already undergone surgery to add a port to start chemotherapy and had to have a blood transfusion.
"Shaun will have a long, hard road ahead with doctors and hospital," the page reads. "The whole family will have a tough emotional and financial struggle. If we could help take just a little of the financial stress off them, that would be awesome and appreciated beyond words."
Multiple family members have already expressed their gratitude for Aber's idea.
"I want to help this family and take the stress off of them as much as possible," Aber said. "I can't imagine how that would feel as a mom."
To purchase a copy of Aber's book, Daddy's Glasses, visit https://www.amazon.com/Daddys-Glasses-Cierra-Aber/dp/B0974KFSDC/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=cierra+aber&qid=1628792086&sr=8-3
To donate directly to the family and read updates on Shaun's journey, visit the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/keep-shaun-smiling?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer
Carley Bonk is a Watchdog Reporter for the USA Today Network - Pennsylvania. Her coverage spans across the southcentral region of Pennsylvania. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @carls_marie.