I Walked with My Sister… and Raised $1,158!

Thank you to all the generous people who donated to support my walk for my sister in Walk MS: Philadelphia this weekend! I was surprised and so touched by all the people who reached out and donated, and I hope you know much much it meant to me.

My fund-raising goal started out small… but when I quickly reached it within an hour, I raised it. Then raised it again. I’m astounded at how much I raised.

My sister Laurel Rose and me. I love her so much.

I can hardly believe my eyes, but I raised a total of $1,158, all to help my sister’s local chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, which assists local people living with MS and funds research for a cure. Because I’d raised so much, I was a VIP walker!

And in total my sister’s team—Rose’s Team—raised $4,175! Wow!

Rose’s Team! My sister and the family and friends who love her.

I’m happy to have raised so much, but what meant the most to me was to be on my sister’s side during this walk. She means everything to me, and all I want is for there to someday be a cure for her. On the day of the walk, she was surrounded by family and friends—including our adorable blond mom and her wonderful boyfriend (who I approve of) Dan—and she has so many people who love her!

My sister and her boyfriend during a Fig Newton break on the Walk.

And I know there were even more who couldn’t be there at the walk but who were there in spirit. Thank you to every single person who donated to support me and especially my little sister.

Here are some of us at the finish line. (My sister’s boyfriend makes the best faces in photos! Hilarious. And my mom and sister and are so cute together here.)

Walking for My Sister

Surely by now you’ve heard me talk about my baby sister. If you’ve read Imaginary Girls, you may have noticed her name on the dedication page, and maybe you read this interview I did with her on release day. Maybe you were in the audience during one of my readings weeks before the book came out, when she sat on a chair before the stage, and in the darkness surrounding the spotlight it felt like I read only to her.

I adore my little sister, Laurel Rose. If you know me, you are well aware of that, because I can talk about her a lot.

What I haven’t talked about here before is that while I was revising the very last of the editorial rounds of Imaginary Girls—when the story was what it was, and Ruby and Chloe already chose to do what they did… I learned that my own baby sister, the one I would do anything for, was diagnosed with MS. I don’t want to talk about how devastated and helpless I felt, wishing I could take the disease away from her and take it on myself. I want to tell you that my little sister, Rose, is strong and brave and someone I admire to the ends of the earth, even when this disease is hard on her. She is truly amazing, and she will fight this—as will the many of us who love her want to fight by her side.

This May 5, for the first time, I am taking part in Walk MS in Philadelphia—my sister’s city. I am on her team, and all of us are going to do the walk to help fund-raise for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, to help those living with MS today—and to find a cure. This cause is very personal to me, as you can imagine, and that’s why I’m posting about it on my writing blog.

I posted the link to my Walk MS page on Twitter and Facebook last night, where you can donate to support me, and donate to support my sister and her team—and already, within one night, I met my fund-raising goal, thanks to two very, very generous donors! (Thank you so much, Lauren and Christine!!) But Walk MS is over a month away and now I’d love to exceed my goal: for my sister, and for others living with MS. You can donate any amount, nothing is too small, and be a part of my walk beside my sister on May 5. Or you can donate to sponsor my sister’s walk—or her whole team. Up to you!

If you decide to, you can donate here:

Here is more information about my sister’s local chapter of Walk MS and the organization your donation would support.


The best present my mother ever gave me was a baby sister. I adore mine, always have. Things about my sister: She loves books; we have very similar taste in fiction. In most cases, I think she’s my ideal reader. I love her taste in music and many of my favorites came from her recommendations—she recently introduced me to Bat for Lashes. Some of my favorite Cat Power songs are her favorite Cat Power songs. She has incredible style. She wears giant movie-star sunglasses and looks stunning. Behind those glasses, she has beautiful brown eyes, my favorite kind. She’s extremely independent. She works hard. If I ever go to a foreign city I want my sister there to keep me from getting lost—you should have seen her acclimate to Paris when we went there just the two of us. French people would see her on the street and ask her for directions. When she was born, I was nine. I saw her birth—literally: it was a home birth and I was right there in the room—so I can honestly say I’ve loved her from the moment she entered this world. I did my fifth-grade science project on her: on how a baby reacts to different kinds of music, with photos! (she preferred Madonna). She’s supported my writing for years, and her encouragement means more than she realizes. She helped E get into his top-choice film school: She acted in the short film that got him in, a whirlwind weekend with him, her, me, and a rented Bolex in which she stayed up all night and dug around in dirt in the boiler room beneath our apartment building wearing only a nightgown all to make one little movie. She’ll eat anything—she has fearless tastes. She’ll make you laugh and be unable to stop laughing; she’ll tell you ghost stories on a dark road in the backseat of a car that’ll send chills up your spine. Her poems are sad and strong and shocking. She taught me how to put makeup on properly when I was in my twenties and she was in junior high. She’s gorgeous, she’s fun, she’s smart, and more than that, she’s wise. I can’t imagine my life without her. I wish we lived in the same city.

Today’s her birthday. Happy Birthday, L.R.!