Billy and Sam were best friends and had been friends for as long as they could remember. They had lived next door to each other since they were both babies. Samantha, or Sam as she liked to be called, was one month older than Billy, a fact that she liked to remind him of often. They were both nine years old and in the fourth grade.
Billy did not think of Sam as a girl, because Sam did not act the other girls in his class. She liked to collect bugs and frogs, and she liked to go fishing and would bait her own hook. She loved baseball. She was the pitcher on their little league team and she had been a Chicago Cubs fan since she was three, having lived in Chicago her entire life. Sam did not like to wear dresses. She preferred jeans and t-shirts. She had not played with dolls for several years. These are just some of the reasons that Sam and Billy were best friends. They had so much in common.
Billy was the catcher on their little league team. Their team had won the city little league championship two years in a row. When other kids teased Billy and Sam for being so close, they just laughed. It did not bother them in the least.
It was a good thing they were so close, because Sam would need Billy to help her through the most difficult time in her nine and a half years. Just after Thanksgiving, Sam had become very sick and did not have any energy. Her parents took her to the doctor. After several tests, the doctor told Sam and her parents that she had Leukemia, a type of cancer.
Sam and her parents were devastated by the news. Sam did not want anyone at school to know, with the exception of Billy. When Sam told him the news, Billy was at a loss for words. He made up some excuse why he had to go and ran home.
When Billy told his parents about Sam having Leukemia, they sat down with him and discussed the disease and what might happen to Sam. Billy told his mom that he was scared of losing Sam. His mom told him that Sam was a lot more scared than he was.