#MIKidsCan Champion of the Month: Rory Sirrine and the Power of Positivity

Last December, Rory Sirrine and her family celebrated the holidays like any year before, unaware of the unsettling news that would come their way two months later.

Rory’s father, Jeff Sirrine, was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in February of 2015. Despite being 10 years old at the time, Rory managed to keep a smile on her face from the day she received this news up until the day her dad was given a clean bill of health.

This year, Rory will celebrate the holidays with her family as they did before. Her advice to other kids who may not be as fortunate is to stay positive above all else.

“If you have a loved one who is sick, keep your head up, because other kids may have it worse than you,” Rory said. “There might be people spending the holidays without someone in their family.”

Rory’s father shared that his fight against cancer wouldn’t have been the same without Rory’s support. Every day over the course of 16 months, Rory would race to get him out of bed after school—even if it just meant going for a walk.

“It was a shock when we found out, but Rory stayed positive throughout the entire process,” Jeff said. “She would consistently tell me, ‘you can do this dad, you can kick cancer’s butt!’”

During a three-week break from chemotherapy, Rory and her dad spent time away from the hospital to go fishing together in Charlevoix.

“We would sit on the pier until I didn’t have any more energy,” Jeff explained. “We never caught anything, but every day Rory would wake me up, get me out of bed and we’d head to the lake.”

In her spare time, this active 11-year-old enjoys a variety of sports, her favorites being soccer in the spring and ice skating in the winter.

“Being healthy to me means being able to do things that other kids may not be able to, like being active and also remembering not to watch too much TV,” she explained.

Rory is the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan December #MIKidsCan Champion of the Month for the bravery she exhibited throughout her father’s battle against cancer. With the holiday season upon us, she is a great example of the power of positivity and helping others.

Do you know a child who deserves to be recognized for their commitment to living a healthy, active lifestyle? Nominate them at AHealthierMichigan.org/MIKidsCan.

Photo Credit: Jeff Sirrine (feature and inset)

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  1. An amazing true story and how proud I am of my granddaughter who kept up a most positive attitude during a very stressful time in a young persons life. Rory is a very sensitive and caring person! So glad she was chosen as this article will encourage her to continue to be a positive person! I am sure all parents, like Jeff, truly appreciate the love of their family during the good and the bad times! Hugs to you both for getting through it and a having a good outcome!! I love ❤️ you Rory! Mimi

  2. This beautiful young lady is my great niece and she is very loving and kind. Everything about Rory and her positive strength spreads to everyone around her. You are loved by all! I have seen Rory stop her life to care for others numerous times!! Wonderful story your a true role model.
    Love Aunt Kelly and Uncle Mike

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