An 11 year old supported by Candlelighters has written her first ever book in memory of her brother Thomas.


After encouragement from a Candlelighters-funded talking therapist, Emily Cammack, from Selby, created ‘Gentleman Sam’, a story about a dog which aims to help readers to identify and cope with feelings of loss. She collaborated with Penny Hartdale, from Hart Farm, to write the book. Hart Farm was set up in 2011 to help children cope with life changing events through animal interaction.


The book was launched at Manorlands Hospice in April, exactly five years after Thomas passed away. He was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, an aggressive form of children’s cancer, and, after going into remission, sadly relapsed and passed away in 2012.


Vicky Spencer, the Candlelighters-funded talking therapist who supported Emily after her brother’s death, said: “Emily worked with me around understanding and controlling her emotions. I worked with  colour therapy and pulled on her creative side and her deep interest to write. Emily always talked about becoming an author so when this opportunity came up she was delighted to test her skills.”


Speaking to the Yorkshire Post, Emily’s mother, Toni, said: “Emily has been so strong throughout everything she has had to deal with over the last five years, we are so so proud of her… Emily and Thomas were so close, they’d play and fight like any siblings.”


“She is extremely articulate and loves words… I think writing the book has really helped her deal with his [Thomas’] death.”


If you or a family member have been affected by children’s cancer, we offer free 1-2-1 support and talking therapies for both children and adults at The Square. Please do get in contact on 0113 877 8333 if you would like to find out more.


Header image: Vicky and Emily

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