Ellie and Evey Selinsky love the same things as most nine and seven-year-olds–popsicles, playmobiles, turtles, mac and cheese. They like playing with their friends, making crafts, and being silly. But for these sisters, some of the joys of life are often associated with something more dire–their late mother’s battle with cancer.
In the spring of 2014, after going to the emergency room for stomach pains, their mother Jennifer was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. “Our mom had cancer and was in the hospital for a while,” nine-year-old Ellie said. “And then she didn’t have cancer anymore, but she got it again and had to go back.” Jennifer went through treatment programs with some success, but in due course, the cancer recurred. She then participated in a trial program, which is when things took a turn for the worse. It wasn’t the cancer that ultimately took her life—it was the complications from the cure.