A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

14 Most Amazing Things Girlfriends Have Done for One Another

If you're lucky in life, you find a good friend who gets you like no one else. Just in time for Friendship Day, here are some amazing friends who have been there for one another, in the ways that matter most.

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Andrea Syrtash, Relationship Expert and founder of www.pregnantish.com
Courtesy Andrea Syrtash

She’s helping her achieve her biggest dream—motherhood

Andrea Syrtash, relationship expert and founder of pregnantish.com, tells Reader’s Digest that her most amazing friendship is actually with her cousin. She explains, “My husband and I tried to conceive for almost a decade, and learned after years of fertility treatments and pregnancy losses that my body can’t carry a pregnancy. A few months ago, my first cousin said she wanted to be a gestational carrier for us, which means it’s our genetic baby, with her as the surrogate. I could barely respond when she offered because I was crying so hard. For me, this is the definition of family love and reinforces a bond we’ll have forever. We’ve always been friends, but this gesture goes above and beyond any definition of friendship that I can imagine!” Check out these 10 facts that prove friends are ridiculously healthy for us.

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Liz and susanna
courtesy Elizabeth Thorp and Susanna Quinn

She took care of her kids, while she handled funeral arrangements

Elizabeth Thorp of Bethesda Maryland, tells Reader’s Digest that the time her friend cared for her three children during a personal tragedy meant the world to her. She explains, “My dear friend took in my three girls when I was in California the week my mother died. My husband was away on business, and we were in between au pairs. She took my three girls, ages 10, 13, and 14, for five days. She has two children of her own and lives in D.C., and she still made sure my girls got to their three different schools every day.”

Thorp continues, “She took such a huge weight off my mind, as I needed to stay and help my father with funeral arrangements. Then, when I returned home, I found an incredible gift basket waiting for me. She had gathered contributions from my other friends. I will never forget her kindness and generosity.”

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She gave her renewed inspiration for life even as she lost her own

Deborah Santana, editor of All the Women in My Family Sing, tells Reader’s Digest of the many gifts her late friend Mimi, gave her, even after she lost her life to colon cancer. Santana explains, “She taught me how to relax with my babies and just hold them—no need to run around cleaning. Instead, play outside in the garden and let the sun warm you. Colic? Rock them. Fussy? Tickle them. Tired? Hum a song while you cuddle together on pillows. Who cares whether they sleep in their cribs? When she died, a thin image of her vibrant, sensuous self, moved to my being. Missing Mimi brought to bear what I missed about my own life: waking up excited about all that could possibly happen; setting goals for my own growth and sacred intentions.”

She continues,”I still feel Mimi coaxing me to relax, to feel my body sensually dancing through life, unafraid to feel each moment. She tells me to love myself with compassion and to love others with a generous spirit.” Don’t miss the 14 secrets to making friendships really last forever, according to lifelong friends.

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Hannah Sewell
Courtesy Hannah Sewell

She almost took her life—but their friendship saved her

Hannah Sewell was in seventh grade when she received a late night phone call that woke her from a sound sleep. It was her lifelong best friend, who was clearly unwell. Sewell tells Reader’s Digest, “To hear her voice crying, saying that she was cutting herself and was going to jump off a building—it was shocking. I was so young and had no idea the extent of what was happening, all I knew was that I had her life in my hands. Luckily, after what felt like forever, I was able to talk her down and get someone to pick her up safely.” Sewell continues, “It’s been ten years since this happened and we are still close friends. She is now an ER nurse, a supportive friend, and a life-long sister. I know that she will always be there for me. That night made our bond eternal.”

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Jennifer Schaeffer
Courtesy Jennifer Schaeffer

Her moms group gave support during the scariest moment of her life

When her three-year-old daughter needed brain surgery after a freak accident at a birthday party, Jen Schaeffer of Cincinnati, Ohio, never expected an online moms group to be her greatest source of comfort. She explains, “I posted in our Facebook group looking for support and reassurance that my daughter was going to be OK. The response was overwhelming. These women prayed for me and sent me hospital food cards so I could order food from the cafeteria to be delivered to our room, so I didn’t have to leave.”

She continues, “When I got home there was a huge box of toys and crafts sent from the women in my moms’ group. Another mom who lived in the area came by with cookies, a card, and a gift card. I consider these women some of the most important friends I’ve ever had, and even though I’ve only met one in person, I count them all as treasured members of my circle. I would do anything to help every single one of them.”

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dear libby book cover
courtesy Familius

Her joy for life inspires others, with her best friend’s support

Libby Kiszner, author of Dear Libby: Will You Answer My Questions About Friendship, will never forget meeting Tammy Karmel. She explains, “I first met Tammy at a parenting class, and I was so deeply inspired by her that we became fast friends. I was mesmerized by her joie de vivre, and enjoyed every opportunity to connect and gain from her wellspring of wisdom.”

When Tammy was diagnosed with ALS, it was Libby who began fundraising to help offset some of the staggering costs of Tammy’s daily healthcare and her family’s needs. She says, “Before she got sick, Tammy was an inspiring lecturer who impacted large audiences with her uplifting words, humorous anecdotes, and joyful attitude towards life. Today, Tammy can only communicate via an eye-tracking computer, which she does by focusing on one alphabet letter after another as they form words and sentences, articulating beautiful messages of hope, love, and sunshine.”

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Elizabeth Dukart
Courtesy Elizabeth Dukart

She was near death after her son’s birth and they took in her toddler and newborn

Elizabeth Dukart of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, founder of caffeineandfistbumps.com, never expected to be readmitted to the hospital only days after giving birth to her second son. Diagnosed with an infected uterus and blood infection, she was placed in the intensive care unit of the hospital. With a newborn and a toddler to care for, Elizabeth’s main concern was the care of her children. She tells Reader’s Digest, “My sister-in-law, who is a NICU nurse, and her family were taking care of my boys, and I knew they were in great hands, but I didn’t know when I would be able to hold my babies again.”

Dukart was released from the hospital seven days later. She continues, “I have no idea how I would’ve been able to get the help I needed without them. They even kept the boys one extra night after I was discharged so I could get a good night’s sleep and jump back into mom life. I am forever grateful for all of them.” Watch out for these 7 signs your friend is actually a frenemy.

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Jo Ann Simon & Susan Willcox
Courtesy Jo Ann Simon & Susan Willcox

She stood by her side through the death of her husband and became more like family than friend

Author Joann Simon and her best friend Susan Willcox are often asked if they’re sisters. They respond with a resounding “yes” even though they aren’t related at all. When Simon’s husband was placed in hospice care after a long battle with Lyme disease and ALS, Susan was there through it all.

Simon explains, “Susan was there for me every single day, asking,”What can I do, how I can help?” When we were in the hospital, there was nothing to do but wait, hope, and pray for miracles. When we decided to begin hospice, and do it as fast as possible, Susan and her husband Doug, my husband’s best friend, were there immediately. They drove to our home, over an hour away, and rearranged all the furniture to create a makeshift hospital room. They stayed over and accepted the medical equipment delivery that we would need first thing in the morning. It was magic that only best friends can do for you.”

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Catherine Chapman Mosley
Courtesy Catherine Chapman Mosley

Her son loved her books and she made a way for him to go to private school

When Catherine Mosley’s eight-year-old son became a fan of the books written by children’s author Julia Cook, Mosley knew she wanted to reach out and thank her on behalf of her son. Cook returned her call, and the rest is history. Mosley arranged for Cook to promote her books locally on various media programs during a week-long visit, and their friendship blossomed. Mosley explains, “We got to know each other very well that week, and I told her more about my dreams of sending my son to Catholic school. She asked how much it would cost, and I told her. She then proceeded to offer me a part-time job that would cover the tuition.”

She continues, “Five years later, and living cross-country from each other, we are still the best of friends. She has been a guardian angel to me on more than one occasion, and I am forever grateful for what she has done for me and for my son.”

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Adriel McIntosh Booker
Courtesy Adriel McIntosh Booker

She had repeated miscarriages, and her friends were her comfort

Adriel Booker, author of Grace Like Scarlett, a book for mothers grieving pregnancy loss, says it was the support of girlfriends that got her through a series of miscarriages. She tells Reader’s Digest, “The truth is, grief is complex and messy, and it’s easy to be hurt by friends when you’re already hurting. We had been let down before, but after our third miscarriage, friends we hold dear didn’t hesitate to draw near. They cooked for us, gave us thoughtful gifts loaded with meaning, pampered us with the things we love best, and watched our kids so we could have time alone. They made sure we knew our pain mattered, our baby mattered, and we mattered. Most of all, they gave us their time and the assurance that we didn’t have to grieve alone.” Don’t miss these 9 things to never say to a friend who’s had a miscarriage.

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mary and kim
Courtesy Kim frederickson

She was diagnosed with cancer and a terminal illness—and her friend has never left her side

Author and therapist Kim Fredrickson, MFT is no stranger to life-changing news about her own health. Throughout her struggles, she says the friendship of a former co-worker has been especially meaningful. Fredrickson says, “Mary and I have been friends for 15 years. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, she took me to chemotherapy each week and went with me to pick out a wig before my hair fell out. Four years ago I developed pulmonary fibrosis, a terminal lung disease as a result of my treatment for cancer. She has stayed by my side and prays for me, listens to me, brings me meals and visits me at home. I am so grateful for her and our friendship.”

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samantha and joel
Courtesy Warburg Realty

Her dad was too sick to walk her down the aisle so her friend did instead

Samantha Rose Frith and Joel Moss were Manhattan real estate agents at the same office when they attended a concert together and friendship bloomed. Their friendship grew, and they spent much of their leisure time together. When Frith got married and her father’s illness kept him from traveling to be with her, Moss stepped in. Frith says of Moss, “She became one of my best friends almost overnight. She’s probably one of the most loving, open, giving, and intelligent women I’ve ever met. When my dad’s heart condition prevented him from traveling from the United Kingdom to my wedding, the first person I turned to was Joel. She’s kind of been my rock over the past few years both professionally and personally, and I knew she wouldn’t let me trip on my wedding dress as she walked me down the aisle! She’s like that: You just know you’re going to be OK when you’re with her.” Check out 12 of the best movies about friendship to watch with your bestie.

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Courtesy Grace W. Wroldson

She was in an abusive relationship and they showed her how to live again

Grace W. Wroldson, an author, single mother, and abuse survivor, credits the women in her support group for family and friends of alcoholics for saving her life. She tells Reader’s Digest, “Those women went above and beyond in private phone calls telling me how they survived to raise children—using police, courts, and God. They asked for nothing in return.”

She continues,”The women opened up and told me horrific true stories of their abuse, rape, and physical violence. The drinking stories they shared were so terrible, yet so helpful for me as I tried to save my own life. They exposed their ultimate pain, shame, and failures to help me succeed. They became my life-long friends, and I now pay their generosity and kindness forward to other struggling women.”

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Julie Haag
Courtesy Julie Haag

They both have cancer and their mutual support knows no bounds

When Julie Haag’s friend was diagnosed with cancer—just a few years after Julie battled melanoma herself—their shared experience created a powerful friendship. Julie tells Reader’s Digest, “We quickly bonded over everything from hobbies to our kids’ school routines, but I never expected to bond over cancer. While she is fighting breast cancer and mine was melanoma, her diagnosis brought back so many tough memories and feelings all these years later. It’s so hard to see your friends struggle with anything, let alone cancer. After everything we bonded over during the past year, I felt compelled to not just support her emotionally, but to go the extra mile and take action in the fight against cancer. This September, I’m literally going 225 miles, riding from Kansas City to Indianapolis as part of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s 2018 Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer Ride. When I’m out on the road training and my legs are telling me to stop, that is when I think of her and others, and that keeps me pedaling. I ride in her honor to truly make a difference.” Now, find out the best friend gifts for every type of friend.

Jen Babakhan
Jen Babakhan is an author and credentialed educator living in California. She writes regularly about advice and culture for Reader's Digest. She is also the author of Detoured: The Messy, Grace-Filled Journey From Working Professional to Stay-at-Home Mom (Harvest House Publishers, 2019). She earned her BA in Communication Studies from California State University, Stanislaus. You can follow her on Instagram @JenBabakhan , Twitter @JenBabakhan, and Facebook @JenBabakhanauthor.