Our Story

By Alecia Michitsch (Milano)

Life was good…

We were a normal happy family, for the most part. We had some different dynamics (divorce) that other families can likely relate to, but there was laughter, dancing, sunsets, games, dinners, concerts, exercise, and—most importantly—love.

A lot of love, actually, and learning to love life!


Our mom was someone who put others first—always. She constantly and quietly gave to others, helped others, and taught by example.

She was our personal “Wonder Woman.”

Then, one day our mom, Maria Milano, was diagnosed with cancer.

Our Mom’s Wish

Throughout her battle she would often have conversations with my brother, Michael, and I about what she wanted for us and our younger sisters after she was gone. These conversations were never easy, and she was very clear that she wanted us to stick to our normal schedules, daily activities, and have as much “normal” as possible.

She never wanted the disease to define her while she lived. And she didn’t want others to treat us differently once she was gone. She wanted us to “live our normal.”

That’s our wish for you, too.


We are one of thousands of families that have experienced this tragedy.