What do you want the world to know about your sibling?
Dana: I want the world to know about the amazing heart Patrick has. Every time he meets someone he is open to them as a person, he doesn’t judge someone before getting to know them. Patrick makes everyone feel welcomed, he is always one to lighten the mood or make everyone feel comfortable by cracking a joke or saying something no one would expect at that moment. He is always keeping everything interesting, I am never bored hanging out with my brother. I want the world to know how much he is capable of; he is surprising me every day. I want the world to never doubt him, always give him a chance and remember everyone is special in their own way and to not treat them differently because of this!
Patrick: Dana is pretty.
How has your sibling surprised you?
Dana: This past year I was most surprised by the progress my brother has made and the things he can understand. We lost our mother in March of 2017, not knowing how this would affect him and his day to day life, scared me a lot. I was unsure how he would process it, if he would fully understand it and how he might change as a person because of it. Patrick shows that he fully understands what happened and that our mom is now in heaven and he is okay with it. He will blow kisses to the sky saying “I’m sending mom kisses.” He will talk about how he misses her but always ends the conversation with “We have good memories with her.” Every time he talks about her or about her passing, he is so mature about it and still is able to have a positive mindset on life and the situation. When I get upset or start feeling bad for myself, I think about him and what he would say, and how I can think more like him. He has made the loss of my mother so much easier and I feel a piece of her inside of him every day and that is the most amazing feeling ever. He has had his best year yet at school and his behaviors have improved so much within the last year. I could not be more surprised with him, I thought because of what happened that his behaviors might increase, he won’t do well in school and he won’t be able to process this horrible death in the family, but I was wrong. He is doing amazing in school, his behaviors have gotten so much better and to be honest, I think he might be processing the loss of our mother better than I have. Never underestimate individuals with Down syndrome, their abilities and what they are capable of understanding will blow you away, just give them a chance to show you.
Patrick: On my birthday she made a chocolate cake. It was good.
What do you love most about your brother?
Dana: What I love most about my sibling is that he has the ability to brighten anyone’s day even if you only have a short conversation with him. Patrick’s love is so powerful and strong; he brings our family closer together every day. His love is simply unconditional and I try every day to love the way he does. I love that I can always be myself around him and he will never think differently of me. I love that he is so honest and will never say something just because he knows it’s what you want to hear. I have never met a more honest person and I hope to be able to be honest with everyone I encounter because it is such a good trait to have. My love for Patrick will never die, I miss him every time we are apart and I am exploding with happiness when we are back together. Everyone needs someone like Patrick in their life, and I am blessed he is my brother
Patrick: She is amazing. She is smart. She is brave like me. She works out with me. I like to go to the pool with her and Jessie.