This couldn’t be more apparent than in the case of my low-key, independent, rock-star, hard-ass, wicked smart, beautiful, brave, sister-in-law, Lana Divello. Lana, 35, healthy mother of 3 children under age 8, devoted wife, strong professional with an upward career, was recently diagnosed/completely bulldozed with an aggressive form of Stage 2 breast cancer. Pause. Breathe. Try to comprehend. Yes. This is happening.
Lana is not the type to shout her woes to the rooftops…. Which is possibly why my telling this story may just piss her off. However, I will take my chances (and beatings), as I think her story, as well as the family’s, deserves to be told. It is a scary, exhausting, frustrating, promising, confusing, loving, beautiful one. I have never seen a family feel and work through so many conflicting emotions at once.
Since April, Cancer has set Lana on an immediate, grueling path of 20 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, endless pills and excruciating sickness, and ultimately an upcoming life-changing surgery with serious recovery time. And that’s only the Cliff Notes version of it. But I don’t want to give you a sob story, because she would not want it that way. She probably does not want you to even know she is sick. Let’s just say it’s the hardest thing almost anyone would ever have to endure…. or watch their family endure.
If any of you have met the LaCapra/Gagliano/Divello family (and the extended versions of it), you would have a true understanding of “family is everything.” They make reality TV look boring, the Kardashian-Jenners look like a sad version of the Brady Bunch. This giant family who all live literally blocks from each other (one town apart is like moving to another state, weird, I know) are one team who have all been affected by this. One teammate takes a hit and they all go down. They all feel Lana’s hurt, her sickness, her quiet angst. Lana has cancer, the whole family has cancer. Fuck you Cancer, for trying to pull a cog out of the wheel of this spectacularly close, supportive, loving family, for hurting them, harming one of their key players.
Marc, Papa and her brothers drive Lana to her treatments 5 hours away and back almost every week. Nana, Sisters, Cousins, Aunts, Grandma, Grandpa all help with the kids, trying to keep life and sanity going during times of debilitating exhaustion and sickness. Vincent (5) shaved his head to look like Mama. Nina (4) cut and donated her hair to mama. No one is unaffected by this. No one is exempt. Time off of work. Time away from family. Lost sleep. Lana is enduring, as part of this exceptional family unit and maintains a level of quiet strength that is almost incomprehensible. Together, this team will help Lana defeat this disgusting, uninvited menace with the utmost love and support.
Lana has temporarily left her career so she can focus on her health, treatments, and well-being of her 3 young children. The bills are steadily coming. Surgery is coming. Lost income is a reality. Future drugs and treatments are inevitable. Financial stress is real.
Many of you have asked how you can help, so I have set up this page as one of many solutions available. I hope to help Lana in her road to recovery, and to help her regain a semblance of her old self so she can get back to what is unequivocally everything: her family.
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- Libertyville EHC Family
- Anthony Palella
- Mark Silveira
- Lenny Bartemio
- Terri Marx
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