Kids on Their Parents’ Cancer

In a series of sweet, candid notes, these children share what they love best about their brave mothers battling cancer.

Luke, 8, New York

In 2009, four weeks after giving birth to Luke, mom Diana collapsed in the shower and was rushed to the hospital. She was diagnosed with stage IV choriocarcinoma, a rare form of uterine cancer that can form during pregnancy. Even more devastating: Luke, as a newborn, was also diagnosed with the disease when tumors were found throughout his body. During 10 months of treatment, both Diana and Luke fought their way back to health. Luke has to wear hearing aids and has no vision in one eye, but they are both in remission. Three years ago, Luke welcomed his baby sister Madelyn.

Dear Mom: There is a picture of you standing over my crib. You have a pink scarf on your head. I am in a hospital crib with many tubes attached to me. We were both very sick. Were you scared? What were your feelings about me? Daddy told me you would save all of your energy just to hold me for a few minutes. You must have been brave. I try to be strong like you. The sickness hurt my eyes and ears. Sometimes it is hard when kids ask me about my glasses and hearing aids. You teach me to be my best. Daddy told me we had to spend our 1st Mother’s Day at Maria Fareri Children’s hospital because we were both getting medicine. I am so happy to be home with you this year. I love you. We beat this together! Love, Luke

Diana says: “The hardest part was not being strong enough to take care of my son. He was so little and so sick and I couldn’t be there. My husband, Matthew, Luke’s grandparents and a team of angel nurses protected and loved Luke every step of the way. I was worried he would never know me. He was such a fighter and still is. When I see my children, I just remember how close this family came to not being together. I am filled with joy and thanks. We try to do lots of family things—vacations, sporting events, concerts, and shows. I want to create positive memories and share as many experiences as I can with my husband and children. Never take good health for granted.”

Samantha, 6, Hawaii

Samantha’s mom Dawn, now 40, was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer in 2013 and had an 8% chance of surviving. She has been in remission for three years.

My mom is grateful. What I love most about my mom is she helps others. What scared me most was that I barely saw her…

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