Editor’s Note- I submitted this story to CNN and got an email from a producer within 15 minutes of the submission. They were going to interview the sisters and hopefully get their story out. They never followed through although would send emails saying they would. I am not a journalist or a reporter, but a person who cares about people. I was able to interview both sisters and honestly, I cried during each one. I really want to get Amanda and Carol’s story out, because everyone has someone in their life that they love.
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a day full of love, candy and flowers. For Amanda Gilbertson, 31, February 14th, 2012 was one of the hardest days of her life.
She just found out that here best friend and baby sister Carol was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“I was speechless. I cried and prayed. That was all I could do,” said Amanda.
Carol Schickel, 27, has stage four triple negative breast cancer. The cancer has gone to every bone in her body. She goes to radiation daily and chemotherapy once a week. She does all of this while taking care of her two kids Cody and Makayla.
“Carol is my inspiration. I am inspired daily that she lives and fights each day. She is an amazing mother. When she told her kids about it, her youngest Makayla, 4, wanted to give Carol all of her hair,” said Amanda.
Although Carol’s diagnosis is severe, she refuses to find out how long she has to live. She told her sister that God will let her know when the time is right.
For now, Carol wants to live her life.
“It can be frustrating sometimes when people treat me differently but I understand. I appreciate the compassion from people. It is hard for people to think of a 25 year old having breast cancer. It happens. My sister is amazing and I am just as inspired by her as she is with me. I do not want to be known as brave. I do not want to fight. I want to live life every day. If there is one thing people can get from me, it is today is a gift and tomorrow is not promised. No one has a promised tomorrow. Just a promised now.” Carol said.
Amanda wants to do as much as she can to help her sister. Radiation and chemotherapy can be extremely expensive, in the thousands. Since she is a photographer by trade, Amanda made a calendar of twelve inspiring women to help with Carol’s funding.
She wants people to know how inspiring her sister truly is. What a good person she is.
Bad things happen to good people. It is one of the hardest lessons in life. I truly believe you find out how wonderful and true a person is when they live their life no matter what.
Carol wants to live her life. She has gone numerous places with her sister that she never would have before. Amusement parks and aquariums. She spends time with her family and prays every day.
When I spoke to Carol I was in tears. Just speaking to her over the phone made me feel sad and happy all at once. I told her thank you for letting me try to get her story out. I told her that she needs to know that she is an inspiration. She stopped me before I said anything else…
“I am not an inspiration. I am normal.” Carol said.
She might think so.
Her loving sister will tell the world otherwise.