Happy Valentine’s Day!  This month we are celebrating all of our Friends of Karen siblings for the love and support they provide to one another.  We invited many of them to create a valentine, offer a bit of gratitude, and some words of encouragement to each other and to other siblings struggling with the many challenges that arise when a family is battling a serious illness. Below, in their own words are their valentine wishes

Dear Siblings, I have a sister that has cancer. At first it was very hard to go look for her in the hospital because she would be in so much pain and unhappy.  Every time I went I would want to cry, but you have to be strong for them. Now that she is home and feeling a lot better it makes me happy and the best thing is for her to be home with her family that loves her. It’s very hard at first, but it gets a lot better. To me my sister does not seem sick to me. She recovered very fast, she is a strong girl. A lion. Love, Rory
 
Dear Sibling, So, you’re going through it too huh? Don’t worry. Everything will be okay. It is unfortunate that your sibling has had this disease through the passing holiday but everything will work out in the end. Just remember that he/she is counting on the family’s support and love even though it won’t cure the sick one they will appreciate it. And the sick one would most definitely be grateful. So, basically all you have to do is support your child as much as possible. Feel better!
 
Dear Sibling, Happiness is when a rainbow comes up and you just want to jump and shout “RAINBOW!” And you want to go out and make a wish. – Danna
 
Dear Sibling, The longer you think about it the more it hurts, so try not to think about it. Hugs and kisses, Derek
 
Dear Sibling, “I love you and all these little things” (quote from One Direction) – Chelsea
 
Dear Sibling, When your brother or sister is down, try to think the things they wanted. And feel the same way like them and cheer them up. Like my brother Nico really wanted to walk and talk like me.  I feel sad for him, but happy too. Because he is like my friend and he is my family member. But, I am most happy he’s my brother. –Danna
 
Dear Sibling, I hope your brother or sister gets better soon and you keep going. From, Juan
 
Dear Sibling, Some great experiences come from horrible situations. -K
 
Dear Sibling, Cancer does not kill hope. -Jack
 
Remember, siblings, your relationship with your brother or sister is very important. Siblings play a significant role in caring for one another. Learning to respect one another is valuable. It also helps to talk about how you feel and to know that there are many other siblings and families who have some of the same feelings and experiences that you do. You may want to create your own valentine to share your heart with your sibling(s) and family. We hope these “valentines” help to remind you that you are not alone and that there are many other siblings who are going through some of the same things. We want to thank these brave siblings for sharing their thoughts, words, and hearts with us. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of the amazing siblings out there! Check back next month to meet another Friends of Karen sibling!