It’s been less than four years since I drove down Twinberry to meet the new members of Giselle and Lucho’s family: Santino & Isabella! Grandma was beyond excited, and Giselle looked like any new mom of twin’s would look: tired! :)

Since then, I’ve seen them grow up through their Tia Erika’s stories and pictures, and tried to win over their affection whenever I see them. It’s hard to win over their affection when they really only have time for each other: Santino lives for Isabella, and Isabella lives to defend Santino!

On a Sunday, less than a month ago, Isabella was complaining about her tummy, and although initially thought to be just a tummy ache, Isabella’s complaints were enough to worry Giselle. They ended up at the hospital and finding out that same day that Isabella had a sizeable tumor in her kidney. The diagnosis after the initial biopsy: Stage 3 Wilms tumor. Isabella started chemo that Friday. Since then she’s acquired a new haircut, as have her barbies:

What amazes me about this girl is that she’s dealing with all of this better than I think most of us would, and definitely better than I would. Part of it is probably not even being aware of what’s going on, but another part is just how resilient and full of life she is. I imagine myself in her situation and I think I’d be sitting in that hospital bed with a frown and throwing a pity party for myself. Not this girl. For example, a little snippet of the updates we get from her mom: “One thing this tumor can’t take away….my daughter’s great taste. When asked what she wanted to watch before bed tonight…she chose “Clash of the Titans” over Hannah Montana….that is MY girl.”

A family friend started a fundraising website, and the response has been absolutely amazing and heart warming. In the span of about three weeks, they reached their goal of $10,000, and have increased their goal to $15,000. To the average person such as myself, this seems like a lot of money (which it is, and it truly is awesome that the love of family, friends, and strangers alike were able to raise this kind of money–thank you to all of you who have already donated!), but when you think about the overall cost of what they’re looking at, it feels like a drop of water in the ocean. If you feel so inclined, please check out Isabella’s website to help them out with whatever amount you can.

Most of all, please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.