There’s a saying out there about being kind to people no matter what, because we’re all fighting our own battles.
In the Geist family, they’ve experienced two battles. One is now, thankfully, conquered—18-year-old Greta’s fight against Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is coming to a close, as recent tests came back showing no signs of her cancer. “I felt relief, happiness, and excitement all at the same time. I have continued to feel great since the news, feeling stronger every day. I love being back in my normal routine,” she says.
A New Challenge
But the other battle is just beginning: best friends and sisters Greta and Anna will be facing a different kind of challenge: physical separation.
“My sister Anna and I are best friends and have always been extremely close. My whole family—my loving parents and amazing brother David included—is close and we are each other’s biggest fans. The relationship I have with my sister hasn’t changed. She continues to show me so much love and support like she always has,” Greta says of her sister’s role in her journey through cancer treatment. And now Greta will be putting sleepovers, driving around town with country music blasting, trips to the protein-shake shop, and mani/pedis on hold as Anna goes through training and deployment to Kuwait.
“It didn’t catch us blindsided,” Greta says about the upcoming deployment—unlike the Hodgkin’s. “But it will still require quite an adjustment. We have made sure to spend time together whenever possible. We plan to be calling and Facetiming each other all the time.” In fact, Greta’s spirit and optimism seems nearly unsinkable: “I think of myself as positive, hard-working, determined, and good-hearted,” she says. “I always try to point out the positives, because I believe there is something positive in everything and everyone.”
In the upcoming months, Greta will be finishing her cancer-conquering medications and Anna will be saying hello to her new adventure, both hugging each other (one of their favorite activities, says Greta) from a distance. Sisters. Friends. Two American girls. Being kind. Conquering new battles. Celebrating life.
Think about a challenge you faced. How did family and friends help support you? Share your stories of hope and encouragement below.