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By Your Side: Book Review

2 minutes to read

There’s an old saying: “You cannot truly understand another’s struggle until you walk a mile in their shoes.” By Your Side is a memoir written by Jason Carrasco with Hazel Flynn that documents the equally heart-warming and heart breaking journey of two young cancer patients. You quickly learn early on in the book that both Cassie and Jason have been touched by the evil hands of cancer. Cass, at age 16 was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and Jason at age 18 with testicular cancer. Although it is extremely hard to identify with someone who has faced a terminal illness, Jason’s down to earth writing and relatable teenage spirit allows the reader to visualise themselves in his situation.

This story is not only inspiring for the fact that two teenagers faced cancer at such an early age, but also that they fought the monster head-on, leaning on one another for support throughout their treatment. It is to both Jason and Cass’s credit that they could endure not only one cancer battle, but remain strong throughout each others’, reliving their horrors and fears over and over.

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Starting each chapter with a memorable quote, this book as a whole has you smiling, laughing, crying and aching to turn the next page. Never have I read a book so full of love, and so uplifting and motivating when explaining issues as terrifying and as real as life threatening diseases and imminent death.

By Your Side creates awareness in terms of young people being diagnosed with cancer, communicates the need for better adolescent support and care and the importance of being by a loved one’s side.

Find your signed copy here.