We are the Stilke Family: Dave, Kirsten Mason and our angel Livia.
So, who is this cute kid in the picture next to Liv? Well, it's the toughest kid I have ever met, our son Mason. Mason is the greatest big brother any sister could ever ask for. He's intelligent, kind, empathetic and funny. He is in middle school and on the honor roll! He's an archer, enjoys soccer and basketball and is quite a riot! He seriously is the sweetest, strongest and bravest kid we have ever met. We are honored to be his parents.
Mason and Livia not only were siblings, but they were partners, in that they shared not only interests, but a disease that is quite rare. They battled a disease called Cystinosis each and every day, but none would be the wiser. They never let it get them down and they never let it stop them from doing anything they put their minds to. They had each other to encourage, teach and battle this disease as best as they could each day.
Mason and Livia were both born with Cystinosis. Mason was diagnosed at 18 months, and Liv at 8 weeks. For years, they have held each others hand, and fought the fight each and every day...together. Mason taught Liv how to swallow pills, how to get through pokes at the doctors office and just how to live life to the fullest. He was her teacher, her friend and her confidant. Pretty soon, Liv took all her pills in one handful, and one gulp of water! Mason was quite proud of teaching her this!
Rest In Peace Lenny Robinson