More birthdays, less sarcoma
Birthdays are often a time of celebration, cake and presents. My birthdays have always been no exception. Michael, Steven and I were all born in April, so ‘Happy Birthday’ banners hung all month long. My 25th birthday was by far the hardest birthday I have had to face. No, not because I was entering my mid-to-late twenties, but because Steven never had the chance to turn 25. How was it possible that I was “older” than my big brother? That is not how it is supposed to be. If I was 25 then Steven should be 28.
Often when someone passes away we always remember him or her as the age they were when they passed. Steven was 24. Losing a sibling at such a young age is something I could never quite put into words. It is easy to ask “Why Steven, and why not me?” We share the same DNA. We were raised the same way, and yet it was me who made it to 25 years old. So while I could sit and sulk — which, don’t get me wrong, some days I do — I have decided to make Steven proud.
As cliché as it may sound Steven taught me to not sweat the small stuff, and embrace every day. Am I always walking around happy-go-lucky and everything is rainbows and butterflies? No. But when I get stuck in traffic? At least I am here to be in traffic. Say a few curse words when my alarm goes off in the morning? (Sorry, Mom!) At least I am waking up to see another day. Another birthday? I embrace another year I get to experience. So many people would do anything for just one more day. So why not make everyday count?
We started the Steven Vanover Foundation so making it to your 25th birthday would never be cut short due to Sarcoma. So no sister would have to see their big brother take their last breath. So one day we will live in a world without cancer.
Cancer messed with the wrong family when it came to us. I will continue Steven’s fight against the ugly disease until it is no more. ‘Steven’s little sister’ is a nickname I gained in college. At the time, it was super annoying. Now? It’s my favorite nickname. I am and will always be ‘Steven’s Little Sister’.