When someone in their 20s is diagnosed with cancer, it's very sad and wrong. When two people from the same family are both diagnosed within hours of one another, it's a near-tragedy. And yet for two sisters in the UK, that is exactly what happened.
Leanne Barber, 29, was diagnosed with leukemia. Two days later (48 hours), her sister Hayley Todd, 22, was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood. The cancers weren't related and doctors were baffled.
Though the two sisters often couldn't help one another since they were both so sick, the fact that they knew they weren't alone did help in the hard times. Both sisters are now (miraculously) finished with treatment and have been given the all-clear. Hayley said:
It was just so amazing that we had both survived. I don’t know how we would have coped if one of us had survived, and the other hadn't ... I couldn’t have got through it without Leanne, and she couldn’t without me. It has brought us even closer.
No one would ever say a cancer diagnosis is a good thing. But if you're going to be diagnosed, being diagnosed with one's sister is one way to not go through it alone. Sisterhood is a powerful bond. Even when you're mad at each other, you know it.
One might say these sisters share bad genes given they both got cancer. But doctors say these cancers are unrelated and that this is just a shocking fluke.
I say they actually have good genes. Both were strong enough to fight it, thank goodness. It would have been awful for two sisters to be fighting a disease and one not make it. It's hard to imagine the other wouldn't be wracked with survivor's guilt.
My guess is each gathered strength from the other's struggle and knew they had to fight in order to be there for each other. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy, let alone my sister. But on some level, now that it's all over, the sisters are even more aware now of how lucky they are to have each other.
They have been given a gift in painful and awful packaging. My guess is they will never lose this bond.
Do you think this story is amazing?
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