Rochester, N.Y. - Cousins and best friends now share something else in common--something that is astounding everyone who hears about them.
Fourteen-year old Mareesa Boyatzies and 15-year old Katie Foster are both being treated for cancer at Golisano Children's Hospital--different cancers, diagnosed within a day of each other.
Their mothers are sisters. The unbelievable odds of one family enduring something like this at the same time is not lost on them.
Katie who was diagnosed with a rare soft tissue cancer says her reaction was “Me too now? Really? It didn’t really sink in for awhile”.
Mareesa, who is being treated for lymphoma, said she didn’t want her cousin to go through the same thing.
We spoke to them while they were both in chemotherapy treatments.
They first shared a hospital room, and have experienced many of the same side effects.
The teens also lost their hair at the same time which shocked doctors who predicted Mareesa would lose her hair five weeks before Katie.
The teens’ moms and aunts say the experience has been surreal. Watching them nap while undergoing chemotherapy in beds next to each other, Lisa Foster said all she could think of, was watching the two of them nap together, seeing their baby faces.
“The one thing that makes sense to us is--there is no rhyme or reason for this to happen to two cousins, so these two are destined to do great things", said Leanne Boyatzies.
Katie’s mom said she believes they are on this journey to help others and bring a face to childhood cancer.
Saturday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. there will be fundraiser at the Brighton Restaurant in honor of the Mareesa and Katie. Proceeds will go toward local organizations that help children with cancer.