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Last Updated: Monday, 23 April 2007, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Girl's book on coping with death
Milly Bell with mother Gaynor Appleby
Milly's book includes a recipe for a "Happy Feelings Cake"
An eight-year-old girl has written a book about how she coped with the death of her father from a brain tumour.

Milly Bell's 37-year-old father Simon died nearly a year ago and her book My Daddy Is Dying is expected to be published later this year.

The brave schoolgirl said her book was meant to help cheer up other children who were going through the same thing.

It is being put together from writings found by her mother, 37-year-old Gaynor Appleby, from Exeter in Devon.

When her father was gravely ill, Milly would help with his medication and read to him every day.

Each ingredient is a happy thought. It makes you feel better because making it sort of takes your mind off feeling sad
Milly Bell

Even when he became unconscious, doctors said they were amazed how he still managed to smile when Milly came into the room, right up to the day he died.

It was during the last few months of her father's illness that Milly compiled her "activity" book, with drawings, her thoughts and feelings.

One of Milly's suggestions for those feeling miserable was to make a "Happy Feelings Cake".

She wrote: "Sometimes you will feel sad so you can make a cake of happy feelings.

"What you do is, each ingredient is a happy thought. It makes you feel better because making it sort of takes your mind off feeling sad".

Milly's mother, who separated from Mr Bell in 2000 and remarried two years later, said her daughter's work was "such a positive book of how to help other children with fun activities and how to express themselves".

She said her daughter, whose father was diagnosed in 2004, was "absolutely devastated when she lost her dad".

Milly Bell's drawing of an angel and flowers
Hospices and other organisations are already asking for the book

Last December, Milly received a Woman's Own Children of Courage award from the Duchess of Cornwall in London.

She said she wrote the book when it was "quite hard for me to sleep", and wanted to show "you can help each other".

The book is being published by the cancer charity Force and Western Power, for whom Mr Bell worked as a manager.

A Force spokesman said hospices and other organisations around the country have been asking for the book.




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