1 million U.S. teens are living with a parent who is fighting cancer.
They are often referred to as the "unheard group" by social workers and thought to be more resilient than younger children.
Often times during a battle with cancer these teens take on the responsibilities and expectations of an adult, growing up way to fast.
"I went from being 6 to feeling like 24. I was about to be handed many adult situations and I would have to learn to cope with the fact that my Mom was slowly dying" stated Arianna Nutile, 15, in her recent winning entry for Gilda's Club Chicago's teen essay contest.
They help in the fight all while navigating typical teen issues like high school, preparing for college, and looking for the person they will come to be.
Maya Silver was 15 years old when her mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001.
Now her and her dad, Marc have combined their family's personal experience along with the advice of dozens of medical professionals and real stories from 100 teens-all going through the same thing that they did.
March 19, 2013 marks the official release of this much needed collaboration titled My Parent Has Cancer and It Really Sucks (Sourcebooks, March 19, 2013 9781402273070, $14.99).
This is a first of it's kind guide written especially for teenagers who have a parent fighting cancer.
Advice for families fighting this deadly disease includes:
How to have "the talk". Helpful strategies on how to talk to your child about having cancer.
How much should the school know?
Best outlet for dealing with stress: A recent Swedish study states that teenagers who have a parent diagnosed with cancer are more likely to engage in risky and self-destructive behavior. Having outlets for stress can give a teen a sense of control and calm.
How friends can help...or hurt: Teaches teenagers how to bridge the gap with friends who they feel don't understand their situation.
Anne Gottleib, Founder of Gilda's Club Seattle -"A must read for parents, kids, teachers, and medical staff who know anyone with caner. You will learn something on every page."
Marc Silver is an editor at National Geographic and author of Breast Cancer Husband. He lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Maya Silver, now 27, winner of the Diane Vreuls Fiction Prize at Oberlin College lives in Colorado.