A book to help children know what to expect when a parent has cancer.

Mums purple scarf swing.png
Mums Purple Scarf_cover_only.jpg

The text and illustrations were kindly reviewed by Cancer Council Victoria and the author’s oncologist to ensure the book provides advice recommended by the experts on talking to kids about cancer. 


$1 from every book sold will be
donated to Cancer Council Victoria.

The Book


Mum is fun…but then she got sick. Her sickness is called cancer.

Cancer means lots of changes for the whole family. Mum loses her hair and is often tired,  her friends drop off food and we have to help with extra chores.

Mum’s Purple Scarf helps children learn what to expect when a parent is diagnosed with cancer.

It deals with the practical changes in a child’s life – extra play dates and how talking can help – rather than purely the medical aspects of cancer. 


About the author

Untitled-1 copy.png

Jane Gillard is a journalist and writer who was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2018.  The news was devastating and like many people, she struggled to work out how to break the news to her children, who were then aged 10 and 7.

Although there was plenty of material to support parents, Jane could not find a book which explained to a child the impact a parent’s cancer diagnosis would have. 

She wrote Mum’s Purple Scarf to help other parents explain the cancer journey to their children.  It can be read with children from 4 to 11 years of age. It mixes information and humour.

Jane is now cancer-free and lives with her husband and two children in Melbourne. 

IMG_2955 copy.jpg

Janet Glass is a designer and illustrator who lives in the hills outside Melbourne. 

She was born in Wales and studied in Aberdeen before emigrating with her husband to Australia.  She is the Creative Director of Two Red Dogs Design.

Mums Purple Scarf_cuddle.png


“Cancer not only impacts those who are diagnosed with this disease, but their loved ones, as well as interactions with friends and colleagues. This book offers children of cancer patients, parents of their friends and other relatives an insight into what families go through, and some good tips for coping through an excellent narrative. Jane is an inspiration to patients around Australia who have been through a diagnosis and treatment of cancer.” 

A/Prof Eliza Hawkes
Lymphoma Lead
Medical Oncologist, Austin Health