In September 2000 my brother Ryan was born. He was the brother I always wanted, unfortunately a few months after his birth he was diagnosed with with a rare brain disorder called tuberous sclerosis. This disorder causes him to have seizures, At that point I did not feel like a big brother, I felt powerless, and there was nothing I could do to help him. I always dreamed of having a “perfect” brother. I just expected him to be like any other child. I was disappointed because I loved him and I did not want to be affected by this disorder. But my family was strong and we had to accept this and move on from that point and work on trying to help get him better.
In 2003 Ryan was given the opportunity go anywhere he wanted, Courtesy of the Make A Wish Foundation. His Wish was to go to Disney World. The trip was planned for September, and the whole family was excited. That September morning we were packed and ready to go, there was a limousine waiting outside for us. At first I didn’t understand why they would give us a limousine to take us from our house to the airport and $1600 to spend while we were there. Then I thought, maybe these people that created this foundation really understood what were going through. My whole family really appreciated the generosity. We knew from that moment, that this trip would be something we would never forgot.
When arrived in Florida we were brought to “Give Kids the world”. Which are villas created for Children with special needs. We put our baggage in our rooms and decided to go to the food court and eat. I looked around and saw other children just enjoying themselves. Even though it was obvious that they impaired they still found a way to make the best of their situation. At that point I now knew some families had it far worse than us, and we should be grateful because everything happens for a reason.
That week we went to various different parks such as Epcot Universal Studios and SeaWorld. The look on my brother’s face was priceless. He was having so much fun. He really deserved this because he had been through so much the past three years. It finally came to me; I did in fact have the best little brother. Even though he had this condition he showed great courage throughout it. He did not let it stop him from being a kid. that’s what stood out to me. He showed great determination throughout this obstacle in his life. I really will never forget that week at Give Kids the World. It made me become a better person, I realized that I couldn’t be selfish anymore and I had to be understanding and caring for my brother. I hope that Give Kids the World and Make a Wish will continue help closure other families and make them understand what their child is going through and just being there for them and loving them is all that they can ever ask for. My brother is my hero, he taught me nothing is impossible and everyday I think about his experiences and I use it in every aspect of my life to try and become a better person. This trip truly taught me that family is everything. I know that my family will always be there for me no matter what.
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