The toll of childhood cancer
Diagnosed at seven and finished with treatment at 10, Ms. Prep spent a significant portion of her young life dealing with ALL.
Intensive chemotherapy to kill active cells, interim therapy to catch any further cells, maintenance therapy, being unable to attend school or play with friends - these experiences weren't within her intellectual or emotional wheelhouse.
Ms. Prep is grateful to be cured: "Among the childhood cancers to get, ALL is particularly treatable," she said. "I was cancer-free within about a month, and everything after that was preventative." Yet the experience took a toll. "It wasn't until I was older and heard stories about other people's childhoods that I realized how different my experience was."
Finally, as a young adult, Ms. Prep began meeting with other childhood cancer survivors - and becoming more vocal. "It's been fascinating to make those connections with other young adults. Most of the time when I speak to them, they say something along the same lines of not feeling like they had anyone to talk to about it."
Ms. Prep began writing her book in her freshman year of college, in November - National Novel Writing Month. "I used the 30 days to write everything down I hadn't addressed in so long," said Ms. Prep.
She hopes writing about her experience can make a difference for other children. "I want to show that I did come out on the other side of it, but that it wasn't so simple."
This fall, Ms. Prep returned to NYU as a teacher's assistant.