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Rising Above Leukemia: Sisters help two people battling cancer fly in balloons

Morgan Aguilar
October 07, 2017 07:01 PM

Editor’s note: This is the first in a three-part series called "Rising Above Leukemia." Click here for Part 2. Click here for Part 3.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta brings people together from all over the world. For many, it’s a chance to check something off their bucket list. For others, the peaceful feeling of soaring high above the city is a reminder that every moment is precious, and that life is meant to be lived to the fullest. 

This year, the Balloon Fiesta united three families fighting similar battles.

Two people -- 6-year-old Yanaissa and 20-year-old Tony DiBisceglie -- had never met before Friday morning, but they both live in the metro and they have both spent a lot of time at the University of New Mexico Cancer Center.

"It came out of nowhere just to ruin everything about my life," DiBisceglie said.

DiBisceglie was diagnosed with lymphoma, a sort of cousin to leukemia, three years ago. Yanaissa has already been battling leukemia for two of her six years, but Friday morning was not about that fight.

It was about enjoying the experience and living in the moment.

"I'm about to fly in an air balloon," she exclaimed before her first balloon ride.

Both rides were made possible with help from some strangers in California.

"It reminds you of what you're doing and why you're doing it and just to see their smiling faces," said Kristine Tesauro.

Tesauro and her sister, Brianna, founded a clothing brand that they use to help kids battling cancer, just like Kristine is.

"Through it, we're able to help other kids battling cancer stay happy," Brianna Tesauro said.

The story of how they ended up bringing their mission to Albuquerque proves just how small the world is.

Rob Stucker, the brother of KOB’s Steve Stucker, lives in California. He happened to meet the Tesauro sisters and, of course, thought of Steve when he found out how much they love balloons and helping kids beat cancer.

Together, they all helped give DiBisceglie and Yanaissa a morning to remember.

"I could see everything," Yanaissa said.

"It felt new and amazing and really relaxing, honestly," DiBisceglie added.

Credits

Morgan Aguilar

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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