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Author educating kids

By Grace Pecci | Nov 7, 2019

NASHUA — Not all superheroes wear capes, but some in former Nashua resident Brian Conley’s new novel “Invisible Capes: Cam Bam Conquers Cancer” do.

“Invisible Capes: CamBam Conquers Cancer” follows the story of Conley’s 4-year-old nephew, Cameron, who was diagnosed with leukemia in October 2018.

His cancer treatments, which would be difficult for any young child to sit through, got a little easier after Cameron’s father convinced Cameron to envision the medicine he receives as “super fuel.”

The thought of being a superhero boosted Cameron’s spirits each time he went to Boston Children’s Hospital to receive his treatments.

Inspired by the idea, Conley set out to write a children’s book about Cameron and give it to his brother and Cameron as a birthday present.

“It grew so much larger than initially expected,” Conley said.

Now, “Invisible Capes: CamBam Conquers Cancer” is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and several other online platforms.

This is Conley’s first children’s book. It is meant to start a conversation involving parents and children when it comes to addressing childhood illness and cancer, by making it “a little less scary.”

“I think this story does a great job of shining light on a difficult conversation and turns it into an uplifting scenario. Throughout the process you see the journey of Cameron getting his treatments,” Conley said.

Throughout the book, Conley turns what could be perceived as a horrible scenario and turns in into a scenario where kids can use their imagination in a positive way.

“I think kids will be able to relate to that. This story definitely makes it a little less scary for kids to understand…because it does touch so many families and I think that it is important to have those conversations and this will start that,” Conley said.

“I hope that people can gain something from the moral of the story,” Conley added. “I believe that reading is the most natural way to learn and teach empathy.”

As someone who has personally watched Cameron sit through chemotherapy, Conley feels the fearless attitude of his nephew is inspirational.

“He had a phenomenal attitude throughout the whole process. Cameron is still in remission and still undergoing chemotherapy… every time he gets it he battles through it and it’s not as tolling and draining of an experience as you would expect. He’s so resilient,” Conley said. “It’s truly an inspiration to see how he handles this.”

Conley recalled a time he sat directly with Cameron during a treatment.

“When he finished, he said, ‘Look Uncle Brian, no tears,'” Conley said. “To see the strength in that 4-year-old little boy and put it in comparison to some things that I think is a big deal in my life… it helps put things in perspective.”

Aside from being a fierce cancer fighter, Cameron is ecstatic to be the star of his uncle’s book.

“Cameron is proud to be a superhero in book. What 4-year-old wouldn’t want to be a superhero?” Conley said.

Conley said this is his first, of hopefully many, children’s books. Conley said he would consider writing a sequel to the story.

“I think there are many people in this world who wear invisible capes,” Conley said.

Grace Pecci may be reached at 603-594-1243 or gpecci@nashuatelegraph.com.

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