When you meet new people who are friendly and are interested in your life, you learn more about them. Common questions are asked, such as, what is your middle name, or what is your favorite color? Another question I get is how many siblings do you have? When I answer that question I immediately say three, but my baby sister is much more than just a sibling. She is an angel. Her name is Claire and she is sixteen. Sixteen is not quite the baby age, but physically she is four and mentally she is two years old. Claire was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called, Townes-Brocks Syndrome. There are only two hundred documented cases in the world. This disease affects her heart, kidneys, joints, hearing, speech, mobility and brain. She is a fighter, a lover, and an inspiration to many of my friends. Her life is no ordinary adventure. Claire has had it rough since she was one month old, when doctors’ realized there was a problem and she was immediately airlifted to Duke. She has had over eight surgeries with scars to prove it. I have scars too, but they are more emotional rather than having a physical appearance. When we were younger, my mom and Claire were always away. Claire had doctors’ appointments in Chapel Hill, Duke, and Greenville. They would be gone for days at a time. It got to the point where we thought she was not going to make it. From her body casts to her leg braces, to her ear surgeries and feeding tube incisions, Claire has made it through it all. I would do anything to take away her pain and fear, but unfortunately I cannot. My family and I have watched her cry and scream, and even suffer. That is what has scarred me. Watching her leave for doctors’ appointments, returning from surgery, and missing her when she was away are the things I will never forget. Family pictures with her in her casts and breathing tubes will never fade away. My scars of emotions for Claire will always be in my heart. Feelings of worry and fear of her life will always be there. Looking at my scars in comparison to hers, they are no match at all. I thank God every day for my baby sister and I only dream to be as strong as her.
Bless this please!