As a kid, having cancer is a pretty scary thing. There are so many questions, so many bald people in the clinic and in the hospital… And losing your hair at a young age can be a big deal. (It can also be a big deal later on so I hear.)


When I was first diagnosed with the big C I was around 5 years old. Up until my final diagnosis I was being treated for cat allergies with Benadryl. – Yes, Essentially, my cancer was treated with Benadryl.

When I was finally diagnosed and began treatment, I began meeting other kids at the clinic going through the same things as me. We all seemed to have the same questions. Do you always lose your hair? Do radiation treatments hurt?… Do you like green play dough?

Pure Craziness

Then back in 1998, when I was undergoing my bone marrow transplant at Emory in Atlanta, GA, I had a very crazy idea. I thought to myself, “When I get out of here I am going to write and illustrate a storybook for young children with cancer.” (Yeah. Right.)

I wanted to do a storybook that would explain some of the more common questions young children have about cancer and cancer treatment.

Hey… I Did It

In the book that I put together, the storybook’s characters are named after patients and friends I made while undergoing my transplant. Buddy, Sharon, George, Shannon, etc.

In the story, the main character, Buddy, goes through the journey of discovering cancer, meeting a doctor and his friend, Sam, going through medical tests, treatments, and the side effects of treatment. Buddy makes plenty of friends in the story and in the end meets his soulmate, a cartoon beauty by the name of Sharon.

Well That Was Cool

In 1999 Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensed my book that was entitled, “You’ll Be All Right, Buddy!” They printed hard copies that were distributed to hospitals, waiting rooms, clinics, etc. It was a pretty exciting project.

Buddy and the Digital Age

But, it didn’t end there. With a little work, the book is now available digitally on Get it here!

Ryan Hamner

4-time cancer survivor. Musician. Writer. Coffee Drinker.

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