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

With Thanksgiving approaching, reflecting on gratitude is all around us: in schools, places of worship, our communities and in our own homes.

 

At Friends of Karen we know all too well that when a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, a family’s world is thrown off its axis. Life is turned upside down and aftershocks are felt months, even years after. It can be especially and uniquely challenging for siblings, but what happens when the ill child is a twin? 

 

Our July Sibling of the Month, Alejandro, six, is a natural artist, lover of old school video games a fan of home improvement stores and a protective big brother.

 

Micol is 10 years old. Her sister Lilla is 12 and was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was four years old. Micol is an amazing sister and has learned how to help care for her Lilla.