I went to high school with Siona’s father, Nigam. It wasn’t until reconnecting while I was fundraising for two marathons in 2010 with Team in Training that I learned about what she was going through.

Siona was diagnosed with T-cell ALL in 2008, when she was only four years old, and passed away on January 1, 2011. At her memorial service, her parents shared these twelve unforgettable “life lessons” that she’d wanted her family to remember.

Siona’s Life Lessons

  1. Live with a smile.
  2. Never give up and always try your best.
  3. Be kind and accepting of people.
  4. Don’t complain about things that aren’t fair.
  5. Be happy with the small things in life such as hot cocoa at Starbucks or going to lunch with daddy, mommy or Mr. Lampy (as she called her brother sometimes).
  6. Be positive and laugh out loud.
  7. It’s okay to fly into the sky as long as you have lived with a purpose.
  8. Always be kind to spiders because they too have a mommy and daddy.
  9. Always be truthful and tell it like it is.
  10. Always enjoy moments big or small.
  11. Be “just the way you are.”
  12. Make a difference in people’s lives.