TOLEDO, Ohio — For Averyana and Jenni Monroe, remission of Averyana's Leukemia for the third time is cherished good news. But it comes with some pain, because her identical twin sister Adriyana isn't celebrating with them.
"Sunday marks six years for Adriyana, so this week," Jenni said. "From our birthday to Oct. 2. Those 11 days are always just really hard."
Both Adriyana and Averyana battled AML Leukemia, a rare form of cancer, at two years old. While Adriyana is gone, she will never be forgotten, her family said.
"(Averyana) always says she doesn't want to grow up, she doesn't want to turn 10 years old, and I was like no honey, 'you want to turn 10 ... you want to turn 13 and 16 and you want to turn all the numbers, not only for yourself, you want to do it for sissy because she didn't get to do all that," Jenni said.
So, on the twins' 9th birthday, in addition to all the fun with Disney characters helping celebrate the day, there was something special to honor Adriyana and all kids who lost their lives to cancer: floating lanterns to light up and let rise.
As for the family's continuing battle with cancer, Jenni is hoping the treatment will be over in time to celebrate another special holiday.
"We could end treatment by the end of this year," she said. "It would be the most spectacular Christmas gift ever."
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