UWindsor student writes children's book on cancer

Writing a kids book isn't your typical university assignment. And making it about about cancer is even more unusual. But, that's exactly what fourth year UWindsor student Mckenzie Cervini did.

Mckenzie Cervini penned book as part of a new course on local cancer research

The cover of 'The C-word.' (Mckenzie Cervini)

Writing a kids book isn't your typical university assignment. And making it about about cancer is even more unusual. But that's exactly what 4th year University of Windsor student Mckenzie Cervini did.

Called The C-word, the 20-page book was written as part of her final assignment for a new course at the university called "Cancer Undergrad Research Education" — or CURE.

"We were given the opportunity to create a project about anything related to cancer," Cervini told Afternoon Drive host Chris dela Torre.

"I decided to create children's book about cancer, talking about what cancer is, what cancer research is, treatments."

A page from 'The C-word.' (Mckenzie Cervini)

Lisa Porter, who taught the course and is the scientific director of the Windsor Cancer Research Group, was impressed with Cervini's work, giving her an "A."

"I think communicating tough ideas in science is not easy to do — and Mckenzie did it with accuracy but also with such creativity," she said.

What she enjoyed was how the book was not "overly scary" and ended with a "message of hope."

Mckenzie Cervini is a 4th year biological sciences student at University of Windsor. (Mckenzie Cervini)

With Porter's support, Cervini hopes to get the book published.

"My hope is to see the book in schools, in hospitals, in doctor's offices," she said.

Tap on the player to hear Cervini and Porter's conversation on Afternoon Drive.

Last summer, we told you about a unique new course at the University of Windsor called "Cancer Undergrad Research Education." It wrapped up last month - and one of the final assignments was so good, it might just get published. We spoke to Professor Lisa Porter, who taught the course, and student Mckenzie Cervini. 4:55

About the Author

Jonathan Pinto

Jonathan Pinto is a reporter/editor at CBC Windsor, primarily assigned to Afternoon Drive, CBC Radio's regional afternoon show for southwestern Ontario. Email


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