Created by our Debut Sibling of the Month, Mariarose, age 10, with help from many other amazing Friends of Karen siblings.
Friends of Karen Long Island Charity

1. There are lots of healthy ways to let out strong emotions.  Try:

  • Dancing
  • Saying out loud and proud, “I am awesome!”
  • Sing while listening to loud music
  • Scream into or punch a big soft pillow
  • Run in place as fast as you can

2. There are always new things to learn.  Remember that it is okay to ask questions.  Asking questions and getting answers from people you trust (like parents, doctors, nurses, or a favorite aunt) can help reduce worries.

3. Come up with a signal with mom and dad so they know when you need a break or you are going to EXPLODE!

4. When it’s possible, have dinner with your family.

5. Celebrate good moments.  When you are feeling sad, mad or scared, just think about something you like to do or fun times you have had.

6. Tell your school.  It helps if a teacher knows why you are feeling “grouchy” some days.

7. Remember that you are thought about each day and that there are other siblings going through some of the same things you are.  You are not alone.

8. Write your sibling a letter sharing how you feel about him/her and about the illness.

9. Show love and offer to help out your sibling if he/she needs it.  You probably know your sibling better than anyone.  It is okay to ask your sibling how he/she is feeling.  It is okay to make him/her laugh, and it is still okay to play games with him/her.  If you or your sibling is feeling down in the dumps, don’t be afraid to show those feelings and to show you care and understand.  Don’t be ashamed to cry.  Everyone cries and it helps the body to release tension and to feel better.  Our Friends of Karen sibs think it’s very brave to cry.

10.  Remind others that it is important for you to hear how great you are.  You are a very important part of your family and you always will be.  No matter what!

Click here for an interview with Mariarose.


Sibling Interviews

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Chris is a 10 year old who is in the 5th grade.  He loves soccer.  His youngest brother, Matteo, is one.  He was diagnosed with cellular congenital mesoblastic nephroma (kidney cancer) in June 2017. Chris agreed to speak with us and share his family’s story to help other siblings.  And now…....


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Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family.
Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one. ~Jane Howard

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