The Courageous Little Brother

Motivational Story


“It is one of the beautiful compensations of this life that no one can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.” ~ Charles Dudley Warner


Many years ago, when I worked as a volunteer at Stanford Hospital, I got to know a little girl named Liza who was suffering from a rare and serious disease. Her only chance of recovery appeared to be a blood transfusion from her five-year-old brother, who had miraculously survived the same disease and had developed the antibodies needed to combat the illness. With tears filling her eyes, the mother explained the desperate situation to her young son, and asked the boy if he would be willing to give his blood to his sister. Hesitating for only a moment before taking a deep breath he finally said, “Yes, I’ll do it if it will save Liza.”

As the transfusion progressed, he lay in bed next to his sister and smiled, as we all did, seeing the color returning to her cheeks. Then his face grew pale and his smile faded. He looked up at the doctor and his mother and asked with a trembling voice, “Will I start to die right away?”

Being young, the boy had misunderstood the request; he thought he was going to have to give his sister all his blood. This loving young brother thought he was trading his life for his sisters, and was willing to make that sacrifice.


“People are like stained glass windows; they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within.” ~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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