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Overview: Press & NewsDate created: 28.05.2019

What does WPE mean? Who works there? What actually is a proton? And how can it help to beat cancer? Questions like these are explored in a child-friendly way in “Die Protonen-Mission – Entdecke die Kraft, die in dir steckt”. The 28-page book is aimed at young patients at the West German Proton Therapy Centre and was produced with funding from the University Medicine Foundation.

“For many children and their families, the time at the WPE is not easy, especially as the young patients have usually already had to master several medical stages before they come to us. This makes it all the more important to explain the procedures and interrelationships of the therapy in a way that all family members understand or to prepare them in such a way that they can be worked out by the children themselves or together as a family,” says Prof Dr Beate Timmermann, Director of the Clinic for Particle Therapy. To achieve this, author Christoph Lindemann and illustrator Frank Robyn-Fuhrmeister have not only worked with simple, child-friendly texts, but above all with realistic drawings that explain all the processes in an additional and no less exciting way. Prof Timmermann: “In this way, the children not only get to know the WPE team, but also have the chance to take a detailed look behind the scenes even before their actual radiotherapy. The course of treatment is explained to them step by step; they learn what happens – and this takes away any uncertainty and fears they may have. We are therefore delighted that the University Medicine Foundation has made the realisation of this project possible.”

The book has currently been published in a print run of 1,000 copies, which have been distributed at the WPE since mid-May before the start of treatment. Prof Dr Karl-Heinz Jöckel, Chairman of the Board of the Essen University Medicine Foundation: “It is extremely important to provide young patients with comprehensive support during their treatment, to take their questions and concerns seriously and to give them the opportunity to deal with a complicated topic such as proton therapy on their own. I am very pleased that we have succeeded in doing this through the medium of a book. Above all, because this book has a clear goal: it wants to encourage children and show them how much strength they have. For me, one of the best sentences in the book is: “Embrace the power of masks and protons to fight your tumour.”

The book is aimed at children aged ten to 14 and can be used as background information from the third or fourth year of primary school. In addition to the German version, there is also an English translation. The book is available at the WPE and is given to the children personally.