By MAUREN KUNZ
Daxton Wilde was diagnosed with brain cancer at four years of age.
Doctors fought his condition with several chemotherapy treatments in an attempt to cure the young boy. While battling the disease, Wilde wrote and illustrated ?I?m a Super Hero,? a children?s book detailing his adventures in fighting cancer.
In the book, Wilde tells the story of a bad guy, a good guy, and a super hero.
?The bad guy?s name is ?Cancer.? The good guy?s name is ?Captain Chemo.? And, the Super Hero is ME!? Wilde wrote.
The Daxton Wilde Foundation, a non-profit organization started by a former BYU student, seeks to inform people of all ages about cancer and overcoming challenging obstacles in life by promoting Wilde?s book.
Recently, the foundation began presenting a cancer awareness program to young children at local elementary schools in Utah through interactive activities and Wilde?s Book.
Hillcrest Elementary in Orem was one of the first schools to participate in the foundation?s cancer awareness program.
Sherry Grover?s third grade class was among those who participated in the project.
?I think the main effect that it had was just getting to know about diversity and treating others the same way, even if they?re different,? she said. ?The students were able to understand a little bit more about cancer, since it?s not something we go into a lot of detail about in our third grade curriculum.?
To start off the presentation, students were given a ball of play dough and asked to create something that represented cancer. Students who didn?t know what cancer was were asked to create something scary or sad.
Some children chose a cigarette; others molded people with their hair falling out.
The presenters then collected the play dough balls and began to pile one on top of the other. The collection grew, creating a larger mold as the balls attached onto each other. The growth of the play dough collection represented cells latching onto others, just like cancer does.
?I?m a Super Hero? was read to the students to help them understand more about cancer and important concepts, such as being strong and overcoming weaknesses, too.
?It teaches the kids not only about how cancer works, but also how to be optimistic in tough situations,? said Angela Dunford, director of communications for the foundation. ?The book is unique because it?s written from a child?s point of view and it?s totally on their level. Kids think they can conquer everything. Daxton had the point of view that every time he went through a treatment, it was going to work.?
Proceeds from the sale of Wilde?s book will go to cancer research and allow the foundation to send the book to other countries, hospitals and schools throughout the world.