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The Girl with Dreams: A True Story of Coming of Age with Cancer

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Thirteen-year-old Allison Zellers loved to sleep in on Sunday mornings. But one Sunday, she awoke with a twinge of pain in the back of her neck. The initial theory of a pulled muscle called for rest and medication, but when the pain continued for weeks, Allison's parents suspected that her discomfort might be something more serious. A twelve-hour surgery at Children's Hosp Thirteen-year-old Allison Zellers loved to sleep in on Sunday mornings. But one Sunday, she awoke with a twinge of pain in the back of her neck. The initial theory of a pulled muscle called for rest and medication, but when the pain continued for weeks, Allison's parents suspected that her discomfort might be something more serious. A twelve-hour surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia revealed a startling diagnosis: Allison had a rare type of cancer called Chordoma. Paralyzed with fear when confronted with this news, she bravely resolved to fight the disease and take back her life. The Girl With Dreams chronicles Allison's journey through many difficult treatments and the unexpected consequences of her life-altering experience. Now recovered, she has written her story so that she will always remember the people who helped her along the way, and so that her experience might help others.


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Thirteen-year-old Allison Zellers loved to sleep in on Sunday mornings. But one Sunday, she awoke with a twinge of pain in the back of her neck. The initial theory of a pulled muscle called for rest and medication, but when the pain continued for weeks, Allison's parents suspected that her discomfort might be something more serious. A twelve-hour surgery at Children's Hosp Thirteen-year-old Allison Zellers loved to sleep in on Sunday mornings. But one Sunday, she awoke with a twinge of pain in the back of her neck. The initial theory of a pulled muscle called for rest and medication, but when the pain continued for weeks, Allison's parents suspected that her discomfort might be something more serious. A twelve-hour surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia revealed a startling diagnosis: Allison had a rare type of cancer called Chordoma. Paralyzed with fear when confronted with this news, she bravely resolved to fight the disease and take back her life. The Girl With Dreams chronicles Allison's journey through many difficult treatments and the unexpected consequences of her life-altering experience. Now recovered, she has written her story so that she will always remember the people who helped her along the way, and so that her experience might help others.

2 review for The Girl with Dreams: A True Story of Coming of Age with Cancer

  1. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This book provides insight into a young girl’s traumatic, yet also uplifting, experience fighting cancer. Most compelling for me was the author’s discussion of how people in her school environment treated her after she returned to school from her first surgery. Allison just wanted to be a typical 13-year-old but many around her were either uncomfortable with her diagnosis and ignored her or tried elevating her on a pillar that was equally as difficult to manage. This quick read speaks the truth This book provides insight into a young girl’s traumatic, yet also uplifting, experience fighting cancer. Most compelling for me was the author’s discussion of how people in her school environment treated her after she returned to school from her first surgery. Allison just wanted to be a typical 13-year-old but many around her were either uncomfortable with her diagnosis and ignored her or tried elevating her on a pillar that was equally as difficult to manage. This quick read speaks the truth of how one girl comes of age with a cancer diagnosis, and how this experience continues to impact her life today.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Chiara

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