Nellie's Walk

Charlotte Stiverson
Oncology Nursing Society


During a walk one autumn afternoon, Nellie and her mother meet a goldfinch. The colorful bird leads them through the woods, teaching Nellie about nature’s transformation during this time of year. Nellie’s mother uses the changes happening in the forest to explain the transformation that occurs in people receiving chemotherapy.

At one point during their walk, Nellie’s mother removes her hat, revealing her hairless head, and explains that her appearance is a sign of the healing process rather than illness.

“When I am finished with the chemotherapy, my hair will grow back, like the leaves that return to the trees when winter ends,” her mother says.

Her explanation helps Nellie to understand the changes her mother is going through, just as this beautifully illustrated children’s book will provide opportunities for people with cancer, caregivers, friends, and family to talk with their younger loved ones about a sensitive topic in a realistic yet nonthreatening way. 

Nellie's Walk was awarded a rare Grand Award in APEX 2017, the 29th Annual Awards for Publication Excellence Competition. Out of 1,400 entries, only 100 receive Grand Awards, the highest recognition the APEX judges can present. 

This book is also available in the iTunes Store.

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