Somehow this little 4-year-old girl knew what she had to do when her brother got cancer.
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Bradley Godish wound up with a particularly aggressive form of leukemia at age 4.


Bradley's on the left; his sister, Charlie, is on the right. All images via JojoTV/YouTube.


The best course of action was to get a bone marrow donor, which — in combination with chemotherapy — had the best chance of working.

Stem cell transplants are tricky. They require a match that is close enough that your body doesn't reject it but not so close that both of them harbor the same likelihood of having the disease, like identical twins.

Enter Charlotte, aka "Charlie" — his sister.

At 4 years old, she had a big question to answer. Her parents told her how sick her brother was, and they let her know she was the best (and maybe only) one who could help him. She didn't hesitate. Her answer, “Yeah, just let me know when you need me," came quickly.

Although they are twins, they are fraternal twins — which, fortunately, can give that close-enough-but-not-too-close match Bradley desperately needed.

After the medical procedure was over in early 2015, Charlie never complained of pain, and in fact, she wore her bandage as a "badge of honor." She wanted to show that she'd helped her brother.

Her donation gave him his life back.

In fact, just a week before school started, the twins were recognized as superheroes by the Chicago White Sox, getting to run the bases (in superhero capes!) and start the game with "Play ball!"


At the start of kindergarten in autumn of 2015, Bradley is doing fabulously well.

Bradley's dad, Brian, said recently:

“It became incredibly emotional to watch Bradley and Charlie board the bus the first day of school knowing that nine months ago, we had no idea if and when this day would come."

Something tells me this brother and sister will be tighter than tight all throughout their lives.

Their mother told People magazine: "We want him and Charlie to remember this time in their lives and how they were there for each other. The bond and the love they have as twins is now even stronger."

Like blood relatives, you might say.

September was pediatric cancer month.

Here's a recent clip featuring Mom, Dad, and the adorable twins from WGN9:

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Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

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