When my brother got cancer

Annie Walls (15 years old) relates a positive outcome to her and her brothers battle with childhood cancer.

One experience in my life that was in no way comfortable for my family or myself and caused me a lot of confusion and grief was when my brother had leukemia. Along with the disruption of this event, it also caused me to grow tremendously as a person. The Thanksgiving of my third-grade year, Preston, my brother, became very ill and was diagnosed a few weeks later with having cancer

This event helped me to grow to become a better person in many ways. When my brother had very little hair or was puffed out from certain drugs, I learned to respect people's differences and to stick up for them when they're made fun of. Also, when Preston was in the hospital, I was taught to deal with a great amount of jealousy that I had. He received many gifts, cards, flowers, candy, games, and so many other material things that I envied. Most of all though, he received all the attention and care of my mother, father, relatives, and friends. This is what I was jealous of the most. As I look back now, I can't believe that I was that insensitive and self-centered to be mad at my brother at a time like that.

The thing that made this a "graced" experience was the fact that it enabled me to be very close to my brother as we grew up. My brother and I are now good friends and are able to talk and share our experiences with each other. I don't think that we would have this same relationship if he never had leukemia, and I think that has been a very positive outcome. Another thing that has been a positive outcome of this event is the people I've been able to meet. Through all the support groups, camps, and events for children with cancer and their siblings, I have met some people with more courage and more heart than anyone could imagine. In no way am I saying that I'm glad my brother had cancer, but I will say I'm very glad with some of the outcomes from it.

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