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We Didn’t Know What Cancer Was: Supersibs Elena and Luisa

8-year-old Elena and 7-year-old Luisa’s lives changed forever when their brother Milo was diagnosed with Stage 3 Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma two years ago (learn more about Milo’s journey in his blog You’d Never Know I Had Cancer). In this touching interview shared by their mother Sina, they share their thoughts, fears, and the love that they share for their brother.

Both girls remember when their parents sat them down to tell them about Milo. It was a sad and life-changing moment, one that made them worry about losing their brother.

Elena’s Thoughts

“We didn’t know what cancer was at the time. If someone asked me to describe what cancer is to a family now, I would say it’s a sickness that can be painful and it takes the sick person away to the hospital a lot to get better. It was hard not to have our family all together. It was often just one of my parents with us or our grandparents. We had rides to school and activities from friends’ parents as ours were at the hospital on and off for months. I sometimes worried that he wouldn’t get better. It was weird to see Miles without hair and it was hard to see my family with tears and feeling broken up. I was sad that I couldn’t visit him when he was in the hospital because only kids 12 and up could visit. One time I met him down in the hospital lobby for an hour. I was happy to see him smiling and looking a little better.”

Luisa’s Thoughts

“It was hard for me not to see my brother. Sometimes I cried. I also missed not seeing my parents and brother when he was in the hospital. I made him paper crafts, toys, and cards to have in the hospital. One time, my sister and I made a video in his room playing with his dragons to cheer him up during his hospital week.

We are so happy that he beat cancer. Our family celebrated the day we found out. We took fun pictures kissing his bald head together! Now that my brother went to the MACC Fund Clinic, we often donate toys to the clinic as we know this cheered him up a lot.”

Giving Back

With Milo on the road to survivorship, both girls look for ways to give back to other children like their brother. Last year Luisa donated some of her birthday gifts for children at the hospital. Elena is going to pay it forward and donate to the MACC Fund clinic for her birthday this month.

Interested in sharing your story? Email us today and share your experience with childhood cancer and related blood disorders.


To learn more about what it means to be a cancer mom from Sina (Elena, Luisa, and Milo’s mother) check out her blog Same, Same But Different.

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