guest writers, Sibling

Sibling Success Story – When We Become Leaders

Picture collage of Stephanie and her sibling

My sister Jennifer had brain injury at birth due to being born natural. She almost died, but didn’t, and was left with a life of disabilities no one knew what the would really be…

My mother quickly learned she has seizures. then learned she had academic impairment (3rd grade level). From birth – 21, her limitations were only understood to be seizure related and the intellectual setback. at 21ish she had a mental breakdown that landed her in psych ward. From 21-30ish, we understood she has mental illness in addition to already understood disability ..

Professionals then explained that she also suffers from OCD, ODD, and is on the spectrum.

Due to my mothers denial, she tried to keep Jennifer “normal” and didn’t want to face it. She is now 32, Jennifer’s disabilities, I think, are finally fully realized. She is heavily medicated, which is her only saving grace for maintaining any level of normalcy.

All that being sad, I’m in tears as I write this.

This week I had an incredible opportunity to share my sibling story with my firm, as part of their Diversity & Inclusion strategy. I have been absolutely overwhelmed with the support through my firm, and now having an additional opportunity that has surfaced as a result. I don’t even have the words to express how grateful I am to work for such an incredibly unique and inspiring organization. If anyone’s interested, this is my firm’s diversity & inclusion initiative:

I know it isn’t “Good News Tuesday”, as we do on our national support network (SibNet), but I couldn’t wait to share this positivity! I’m looking forward to next steps on this new speaking engagement and partnership that has resulted. ❤️ Updates to follow!

This is what happens when we get out of our comfort zone and use our voices. This isn’t a long post and it doesn’t need to be. Use your voice and change the future- Cheryl

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