The Short of It
Two 12-year-old kids with cancer fall in love at the hospital.
New York 12-year-olds, Stella Usiak and Lucas Lowe, may have met in an unlikely place—the hospital—but their relationship is just like any other kids' first love. Yes, both are fighting cancer, but that's not what drew them to one another. In fact, despite the fact that they both suffer from Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, they say their conversations rarely revolve around their disease.
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"She's had a crush on me for a while now, and I've had a crush on her, so her and me are boyfriend and girlfriend now," Lowe declared to local news station WGRZ.
After being friends for years, the two lovebirds now say the most adorable things about each other. "She's kind and nice, like a woman should be," Lowe said. And Usiak describes her boyfriend as "hilarious" and a "gentleman."
Of course, no one knows what the other is going through like Lowe and Usiak do. Not only do they both have the same kind of cancer, but incredibly, both went into remission and relapsed around the same time. Both had bone marrow transplants and have spent much of their young lives in and out of hospitals.
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"No one really knows what a kid with cancer is going through not the parent, not the nurse, not a friend. The only other person that knows what a kid with cancer is going through is another kid with cancer," said Angelica Zachara, a Registered Nurse at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
That's one of the reasons the couple's parents support their young love. Jennifer Usiak describes their relationship like this: "It was like this cute little old couple, sitting on the porch. It's very rare that kids their age could kind of have that sort of compassion for each other." And she says her daughter may be fighting a disease, but she is just like other kids her age. "She just wants a boy to like her. She just wants to have somebody make her feel special."
"Cancer teaches you, you are not guaranteed tomorrow," adds Lowe's mom Maureen Warren.
The couple isn't supposed to kiss without their masks on, but they admit to stealing a few pecks on the cheek anyway. And they do gestures to show each other they're committed to helping one another get through truly tough times. Lowe gave his girlfriend a ring on Valentine's Day that says, "You are my sunshine. My only sunshine." on it, and he made an adorable video for Usiak to keep her positive.
"It was amazing. I've never felt that way in my life, ever. It made me so happy. It made me feel like I'm a princess," she said.
And incredibly, Usiak swears she wouldn't change anything about her life: "Yes, I have been given all these bumps in the road, and all this yucky stuff, but if I never got that, I wouldn't have met Lucas."
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I, for one, am wowed by the love between these brave kids. Thank goodness, they found one another to walk through their difficult journey side-by-side!