Moms Know Best: Liliana’s mom, Vilma

St. Jude mom Vilma embraces the present by making ordinary days memorable

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  •  1 min

Moms Know Best: St. Jude patient Liliana and her mom Vilma

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At Vilma’s home in Tennessee, it’s common to have mid-week pajama parties. 

So is having impromptu picnics atop a blanket in the middle of the living room. And there is always dessert, usually some fruit, after attending weekly Sunday church service.  

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The requests come from her daughters, Liliana, 8, and Sherley, 7, and Vilma can’t say no. 

Since Liliana was diagnosed with liver cancer in 2023 and treated at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®, Vilma said she tries to make ordinary days more memorable. Even if it means making an extra trip to the grocery store for snacks or carrying extra money for a special treat while outdoors. 

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“Before, I would say, “Let me do this first,’ and then the time would go, and then it didn’t give me time for anything. But now when they ask for something, I do it,” she said. 

Vilma said prior to Liliana’s diagnosis, she juggled work and motherhood, and took time preparing for the next day, which sometimes led to the days getting away from her. But now when she comes home, she focuses on being present. She gives her girls extra hugs and tells them she loves them every day. The best thing a mom can do, she said, is give children time, not only when they are sick but when they are well.  

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Liliana recently finished treatment and returns regularly to St. Jude for checkups.

“With everything Liliana has gone through, she has to be happy, and I do everything I can for her to be happy,” she said.  

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