My little sister, Samantha, was diagnosed with Stage IV Synovial Sarcoma on September 18, 2013, just nine days shy of her 22nd birthday. I will never forget where I was when I found out or the feeling that hit me like a ton of bricks. From the day she was born, our lives would be forever changed. Samantha was full of life. She began playing soccer in 3rd grade and continued to play for the rest of her short life. She also played various other sports, started her own business, was concerned only with helping others better their lives, and spending time with family and friends. Her smile brightened any room and she could always be counted on for a silly joke. When Sam was diagnosed, she didn’t break down like most people would expect. Instead, she took cancer by its horns and fought like hell. Sam actually said that she felt lucky to be given the opportunity to see life in a different perspective. She was a true warrior. Outsiders would never have known that Samantha was in pain or fighting for her own life. She never let cancer get the best of her. Through all of the pain, Sam never gave up the fight, and literally fought until her last breath. Sadly, our shining star and love of our life was taken from us on May 21, 2014, just 8 months and 3 days after her diagnosis. Our lives were forever changed, except this time in the worst way possible.
I have attached a video that Samantha made shortly after her diagnosis. When she was told that she had Stage IV cancer and that her time might be limited, she had a different perspective on things. After extensive research, Sam decided that she didn’t want to go the traditional route, and instead opted for more holistic healing. She then incorporated chemo and radiation beginning in December 2013. I look to this video often, either for inspiration or just to hear my baby sister’s voice. She was truly wise beyond her years.
Together, with my sister Diana and my parents, I would like to nominate Samantha as a WARRIOR. I am hoping that her optimism and spirit can help bring HOPE to as many people as possible.
If you or a loved one has been impacted by sarcoma cancer, we encourage you to share your story. Sharing your story can be such an inspiration to others who are dealing with sarcoma in their own life and remind us all of the urgency to find better treatments in order to make an impact on the devastation that sarcoma cancer brings. Let your experiences help others become involved with raising awareness!