Paige created these for Brooke when she lost her eyesight. She added the gems so Brooke could feel the artwork.
Sibling of the Month - April 2019
Kyle, Cooper and Paige

Friends of Karen is fortunate enough to see many of the children we work with get better. In some, heartbreaking cases they do not.  Brooke loved Harry Potter, her dogs, friends and most all her family. Brooke, who her family called “Warrior Princess” had a very rare disease called leptomeningeal cancer. She died at home on January 28th, 2019 at the age of 14.

Her wonderful and loving family has been dedicated to helping others in the name of “Team Brooki” using social media platforms to share information and support. 

Brooke’s siblings, Kyle, 18 and Paige, 11 are warriors in their own right, so graciously share their stories as the Siblings of the Month.  Their honesty, vulnerability and strength will undoubtedly resonate with so many- especially those grieving a loss of a loved one.

(Interviewed by Sibling Support Specialist Siobhan Casey)

What is your favorite thing about each other?

P- I like that he is weird, but in a good way. He gets me too- we’re the exact same person.

K- I don’t know about exactly the same. I love the fact that she’s very outgoing and independent. She’s not afraid to be herself.

Can you tell me a little bit about your family?

P- We’re very unique and also very strong- we never give up. Especially with Brooke- we never lost hope.

K- I think every family has a weird way of fitting in together- like a jigsaw puzzle. Everyone has a place. You fit because you love each other very much.

What has been hardest for you?

K- Going to school everyday- she was supposed to be there too. Also the fact that she couldn’t see me anymore (Brooke lost her vision due to her illness) - but she could hear me and I sang to her.

P- I’m very lonely now. She was always my entertainment. We shared a room. It feels like a part of me is missing.

What advice would you give to other siblings of Friends of Karen families?

P- Try and find a good hobby to get your mind off of it. Also, find good friends and never forget about your siblings.

K- With every closed door, there is an open one. No matter the distance you’ve gone or the defeat you’ve been through, it doesn’t ruin the relationship with your family. Also, take care of yourself.

How has Friends of Karen Sibling Support Services been helpful to you?

P- Painting distracts me and then I talk about my feelings. It’s good to have both; distraction and someone to listen.

K- It was helpful to speak through and understand my own emotions. I would describe it as a “voice mirror”. I really needed that support.

What helps you now? How do you remember Brooke?

P- I have “Chubby” her stuffed animal and her music box, I listen to it at night.  I keep the Olaf painting she made me. The things she left me are treasures to me now.

K- I mostly look at pictures and listen to music - I love singing. “The Other side” and “Riptide” they were a couple of Brooke’s favorites. Music itself has been an amazing outlet. I’ve joined drama club. Being with friends helps. Even just looking at something that takes your breath away, even little things.

Thank you so much Paige and Kyle for sharing your thoughts with us.