Meet a Candlelighters Family
Childhood cancer is a family affair, and the love and support of siblings play a large part in how a family copes. In June of 2004, when she was 9 years old, Elizabeth was diagnosed with brain and spine cancer. This was the beginning of a long and difficult battle for Elizabeth, one that she is still fighting today. That battle affected not only her, but her five brothers and sisters as well. When Elizabeth was diagnosed, Robert was 12, Amanda was 7, Seth was 5, and Adam and Amelia were 4. All were far too young to understand the changes that occur in a family facing childhood cancer. The sudden absence of their parents to care for their sister, accompanied by the fear and confusion of unanswered questions, can either tear a family apart, or in the case of Elizabeth’s siblings, bring them closer together. For the past nine years, Elizabeth has bravely continued to fight her battle with cancer, and together the family has faced the highs and lows, the bad and the good, and the rollercoaster of emotions that is childhood cancer. Each one her brothers and sisters have been affected by her cancer.
When their father died unexpectedly in March of 2009 from lung cancer, Robert, at 19 years of age, took on the responsibility of being the oldest. He knew that he needed to help sustain the family, so he works daily to support his family, while taking classes for his future. For most of their life, Elizabeth’s siblings have been fighting childhood cancer beside their sister Elizabeth. Over the years, through Elizabeth’s constant battle with tumors and complications, the untimely death of their father, and moving to three different communities to start their life all over again, these children have embraced this journey, together, as a family and have grown into strong, vibrant, and wonderful young people.