The Balistreri Family Makes a Difference For 95 years, the Balistreri family has been serving…
A childhood cancer diagnosis takes a toll on every member of the family. In these personal blogs, three siblings share how their brother’s diagnosis changed them and their family.
2017 was the year that changed everything for my family. I’m the oldest out of four kids and Benny is the youngest. Benny was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on his 6th birthday and it was heartbreaking. It was the worst words you could hear. I felt confused, sad, and terrified to say a few of the emotions running through my mind. After that first night in the hospital, our lifestyle changed. Everyone in my family made Benny the number one priority. We missed out on fun hang outs with friends and other things like that because we needed to step up and care for him. We were confused and experiencing this unknown territory together as family. I tried my best to fake a smile and laugh with him in the hospital but on the inside, it was much different. Keeping him smiling was what mattered. Keeping his crazy steroid food cravings fulfilled was what mattered. Now seeing him recovered and healthy is inspiring. He never gave up. He fought hard and beat the hardest thing to beat in this world. He’s such a brave little boy. I am so proud of my little brother.
My brother Benny was diagnosed with Leukemia on his 6th birthday. He is now done with treatment and in remission. When he was first diagnosed I cried a lot because when you hear the word cancer you think death. That scared me a lot. I had to act strong for him so he thought everything was okay. With him having cancer I tried not to get sick, and if I did I stayed away from him. Sometimes I was late or had to miss out on things because he needed care. But there are many wonderful programs for siblings of kids with cancer so we got to do a bunch of fun things too. We also got to meet many families like ours. Being the sibling of my brother Benny who had to fight cancer has given me many memorable experiences and I got to meet people I never would have met.
Being the sibling of a kid with cancer made my life miserable. It made me worry I would lose my little brother Benny. But when he started to pull through, I thought nothing could stop him. And nothing did.
Childhood cancer affects everyone. It affects the parents, the child, but also the siblings. That’s why we want to share their stories. If you have a story you would like to share of your supersib journey, please email Danielle Torgerson at email@example.com