Siblings of the month - October 2019
Siblings Julie and Johnny
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?
Wombmates and best friends, Julie and Johnny share an intense connection and have been through much together in their four short years. When Johnny was diagnosed with ALL ( Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia) last December Julie missed Johnny and her parents when they were at the hospital, was understandably confused, and a little jealous. Mostly though, Julie just wanted to help him feel better.
The twin’s mother , Angelique shared with Sibling Support Specialist that after one of the toughest days at the hospital ( for Johnny and mom), Julie came up to her mom and said :“Mommy, its ok - I’ll hold him so you can go cry in the kitchen.”
Johnny is feeling much better now. There are still some tough days but overall the twins continue to show us how sometimes, the biggest gestures of the heart can come from the smallest of people.
Please read below for Julie and Johnny’s story of their unbreakable bond, heartwarming empathy, hidden talents and love for Spiderman.
Siobhan (Sibling Support Specialist.): Who in your family has cancer?
Johnny: I have cancer. ..I get chemo
Julie: Johnny does.
What was the worst part about Johnny having cancer?
Johnny: When I go to the big guy and my port gets hurt (accessed.) Face paint and Spiderman makes me feel better.
Julie: The worst part is when I went to Stony Brook (Hospital) with him and I got really scared when they put the hummingbird in his port. He yelled a lot!
What do you like best about Sibling Support Services?
Johnny: We do a lot of work and art and it helps me with my feelings.
Julie: I like all the projects! Yeah, it helps me with feelings a little bit.
Johnny, can tell me about your sisters?:
Johnny: Marlee Grace is smaller than me (age 2) she comes all the way to my neck. Julie , she comes a little bit past my hair- she’s a little taller than me. I was a little upset when they measured us at the doctors because we should be the same height because she’s my twin. I thought the chemo made me short. I don’t feel so bad about it now because it’s ok to be different. Like the book you read me!
Julie, what is the best part about being a twin? What is you favorite thing about Johnny?
Julie: I love having a brother. He helps me find things when I’m missing them. I love doing art projects with Johnny.
What is your favorite thing about Julie?
Johnny: She can do a lot of things! She can snap her fingers with both hands!!