"Buddies! Buddies! Buddies!"
That is what my brother and I would say to each
other. We hoped to go into business together and
planned on being roommates before marriage. It never
happened. My only brother, who was four years
younger than me died of cancer at age 15.
always have a perfect storybook relationship. We had
the typical "brother" arguments like whose turn it
was to use the remote control and blaming each other
whenever there was a mess in the house. However, we
did have many good times together which I will never
When we first discovered Andrew
had Cancer, my bags were already packed for our ski
trip to Colorado with our father. Andrew noticed a
bump on his hip, but thought it was a bruise from
playing baseball. After having this "lump" looked at
by a doctor, he said. we should cancel the ski trip.
I was so upset that our ski trip was canceled. Then,
a week later, I found out my brother had cancer. At
that point, I forgot all about the ski trip.
caregiver for my brother was difficult because
sometimes it seemed like he might have been jealous
that I didn't have cancer. Sometimes he got upset
with me when I would just attempt to walk in the
room. Also, I was a little jealous of all the
attention he was getting since everyone in the
family was caring for him. Sometimes I even wished I
could trade places with him, so I would be the
center of attention for a change.
trying to find a cure for Andrew meant he was moved
from Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida to
M.D. Anderson in Houston, Texas. My mother moved to
Houston with Andrew. Since I was in college, I
stayed in Florida and was only able to visit Andrew
a few times in Houston.
When we were
together Andrew and I would always talk about
baseball. He and I were both avid fans. I was
impressed when he received letters from outfielder
Tim Raines and a visit from San Diego's Ken
Caminiti, then a Houston Astro. It seems like sports
figures have a special place for in their hearts for
kids who have cancer. Even Mark Duper of the Miami
Dolphins came to see Andrew at home. They played
Nintendo and Mark watched as Andrew scored a
touchdown as Duper on Nintendo. Andrew was thrilled.
I was happy not to be an only
child. I thought having a little brother meant I
would always have a friend. After having his leg
amputated, we found that Andrew's cancer had spread
to other parts of his body. There was less and less
hope for his survival. It was scary to think I might
lose him and end up as that lonely, only child.
many failed attempts to help Andrew failed in
Houston, he was moved back to Miami. Then I was able
to spend more time with him. Some nights I stayed in
the hospital with him, bringing my VCR and rented
movies. We would stay up really late and watch the
movies, just like everything was "normal".
was angry at the world. Sometimes he didn't want to
see anybody, including me. He was embarrassed by the
way he looked, and at other times he just wasn't in
the mood. It would hurt my feelings when I really
want to care for him and he wouldn't let me. Still,
we had to learn to respect his privacy. We needed to
give him some time alone.
registering for my next semester in college, I was
beeped by my mother. It was the first time my mother
gave me her beeper. Before I left, my mother and I
agreed that she would only beep me in an emergency,
so when I got the beep, I know what had happened. I
was angry that I wasn't there at the exact moment my
There is a
baseball field which Andrew's friends dedicated to
him. There's even a plaque with his name on it. The
plaque reads: May his dreams come to life on this
field. I play softball there every Sunday.
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