AP NEWS

The book of Grace: Cancer experience leads West Florence grad to write ‘The Missing Piece’ for children

March 26, 2019

FLORENCE, S.C. – Grace Dubose is hoping to make a difference in other’s lives through a book about her own experience with cancer.

Dubose, a West Florence High School graduate, wrote a children’s book titled “The Missing Piece” after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma May 21 last year at 23 years old.

“I thought I had mono, actually, when I found the lump,” Dubose said. “I didn’t think it would be cancer — that was my last thought — and I showed the doctor and was like, we need to get this checked out. That’s when they did the biopsy and scan. That’s when they called me in and told me it was cancer.”

Though it was shocking to receive the news, Dubose said, she knew she was going to be OK.

“I had this peace when I was in there, and I really couldn’t explain it,” Dubose said. “I really thought God gave me that peace, because I just knew I was going to be OK. I was still shocked and scared, but here I am. I am good.”

Dubose finished treatments and was 100 percent free of cancer on Dec. 21.

While going through treatments in the hospital, Dubose said she came up with the idea to write “The Missing Piece,” a book about a princess who learns that beauty comes from within.

“My idea was from the beginning to go into the hospitals dressed as a princess and to show them it’s not what’s on the outside, but it’s what’s on the inside that matters,” Dubose said.

Dubose began the book while she was going through treatments, and she finished it approximately three months after she finished treatments, which was roughly an eight-month process, she said. Dubose wrote the book while her mother, sister and cousin helped illustrate it.

“The book is about treating others well, because that was my biggest fear, too,” Dubose said. “I look different, and everyone would stare at me. I was just scared about people treating me differently. I am hoping that younger kids will get that idea and understand.”

Last week, Dubose revisited her former elementary school, Royall Elementary School, to read the book to kindergarten through third-grade students.

“The coolest thing is just their faces, seeing their expressions when they see me, and I literally feel like a celebrity here,” Dubose said.

The students have had good questions about cancer, she said.

Dubose said she hopes to be able to read to children who have cancer in the hospitals.