“Cancer is much easier to go through yourself than it is to watch someone else battle it,” says MIA-based duty manager Mandy Blaize. And she should know. She watched her sister Melodie battle cancer, supporting her every step of the way. About a year after her sister finished treatment, Mandy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and began treatments of her own.
“Having been on the other side watching my sister, I know cancer in a loved one is a burden that you wish desperately to help carry, but cannot,” says Mandy. During her sister’s treatment, she did her best to lighten the mood with positivity and appreciation for every moment they had together.
The sisters’ positivity was an inspiration to those around them. Melodie learned to play the ukulele so she could entertain her nurses and other patients in the cancer center. After eight months of treatment, Melodie’s lymphoma went into remission and she was cancer free.
During her own treatment in 2015, Mandy followed her sister’s example. She says, “The only logical thing for me to do was make the burden seem lighter with a positive attitude and genuine appreciation of each and every day, just like my sister had.”
After many months of treatments, both Melodie and Mandy remain happy, healthy and cancer free.