Thursley student's '100 Stories' of cancer

Saturday 19th October 2019 2:00 pm
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Helena clutching onto her an official copy of '100 Stories'

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A GRAPHIC design student has launched a campaign to raise funds to release her book – which consists of 100 different experiences with cancer.

Helena Traill’s 100 Stories is the culmination of nine months of research and interviews, compiled into 452 pages – and weighing 1kg.

Originally from Thursley but studying at Central Saint Martins, London, Helena originally created the book for her final project, in which she received a first class honours degree in graphic communication design.

She was worried the subject of cancer “would be quite morbid” but found the feedback was “very positive”.

“I thought, why not tackle the scary Big C, the illness that now affects one in two people,” Helena said.

“My father has two brain tumours which are cancerous and during my final weeks of university, my grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“The initial aim was to promote open discussion and to normalise the cancer conversation by narrating other people’s stories.”

Her project invited hundreds of people to include their experiences, with some sharing a few words, while others talking in great length.

One of her contributors is Martino Sclavi, best friend of comedian Russell Brand, who was diagnosed with grade four glioblastoma – an aggressive brain tumour – in 2011, aged 38.

On working with Helena, he said she “truly blew me away”, having worked on both a film and an excerpt for the book.

Since launching the project, Helena has created the book solely out of her own pocket – but is now faced with the “mammoth task” of self-publishing.

To complete the task, she has launched a Kickstarter campaign, and hopes to raise £8,400 to cover the cost of 500 books, and is asking the public to help contribute to the costs.

Those who donate £20 or more secure themselves a copy of the book, to be released in January 2020.

To donate to Helena’s campaign, visit: www.kickstarter.com/projects/helenatraill/100-stories

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