Having a support system when someone in your family is experiencing an illness is essential.
For families of children with cancer, it's a hard road to travel through treatment, and no one should have to go it alone. There are online and in-person support groups for parents and families, but sometimes it's hard to believe that someone could know exactly what you're going through.
Two families in Utah are discovering, however, that help is often closer than you think.
Cora Morgan's four-year-old daughter Harper was diagnosed last year with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, or bone marrow cancer.
Little did they know, another family in their Utah town was going through the same exact thing. Korinne Roberts's four-year-old Livvi was also diagnosed with bone marrow cancer just a few months before.
The two moms learned about the shared diagnosis through mutual friends and began texting advice and support almost daily.
“She said that the first 30 days are the hardest and that it will feel overwhelming and impossible,” Cora remembers. “It gave me a glimmer of hope. I thought, if she did this with four kids, I can too!”
Despite being there for each other online and through texting, the mothers and daughters hadn't actually met until recently. A local TV station set up the meeting and captured the joyous occasion.
“It was like catching up with a close friend. We hugged and let the girls play for a bit while we chatted on the couch and exchanged stories.”
The moms needed that support, but the girls did, too. They were so happy to meet someone else experiencing the same pain and struggle.
The moms recommend that people who find themselves in similar heartbreaking situations reach out to others. "Reach out. Surround yourself with those that give you strength. You don’t have to do this alone," Cora said.