Note: The following essays were written by children ages 5-9 about their siblings or relatives, all of whom have medical issues or disabilities. We have corrected spelling and punctuation, but otherwise left the essays as they were originally written.
Hannah G., age 5
My brother's tummy is not working. He has to go to the doctors, doctors, doctors, doctors. He just keeps going to the doctors. He gets a feeding tube and has to take medicines every day. It's bad, because he won't eat a lot and just plays and plays with his food. Sometimes it bothers me, because he is sick. It makes me mad, because I want him to have a normal tummy. I just think his tummy is not working, that's all.
Hannah L., age 9
Hi, my name is Hannah Lackey. My mom, Christine Lackey, wrote in the newspaper a couple of months ago about my little brother, Jakob Lackey, who had vomiting problems. When Jake was about three years old he had to have a tube put inside Jake's belly. Why, because every time Jake ate, well, a few minutes Jake would vomit. After six months I was eight and Jake was six. That month, Jake went to the hospital every two weeks for months on end. I missed Jake and my mom really much. Sometimes I wake up in the morning to play with Jake, but when I get down from the bunkbed I look in Jake's bed but he is not there so it feels like it is just me.
Now, in 2008, my mom can do what the nurses do in the hospital, but at home. So now when Jake gets sick my mom does ALL OF IT!!!!! Her and Jake do not have to go to the hospital every time Jake vomits now.
But at school Jake can be picked on just for who he is. I REALLY GET MAD FOR THAT. I see Jake and his friends sometimes and some boys come to Jake and says, "You look weird with your backpack." Jake does not know what to say. And at school Jake has to wear a backpack at school all the time and when you hear a "BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, BEEP," Jake has to go to the nurse's office.
I know that I will NOT have what Jake has. I hope when Jake grows up he will be like everyone else but I don't know. I love my brother really, really, really, really much. He is the only person I can play with at home. And whoever picks on him is going to get hurt from me and that is how much I love Jake and who he is.
Note: Jake's story was featured in the April Edition.
Griffin J., age 7
My name is Griffin and I am seven years old. My brother, Reese, has a disease called mitochondrial (it is pronounced my-tow-kan-dree-ul) disease. He can't walk. He has to eat from a syringe. He can roll over. He can make noises and giggle. He has to have a special formula.
It affects our life because it's really hard having someone with a disease like this. What is really hard about it is like there has to be a parent by him all the time. It makes me feel sad because it's like his life is going to be really short. It's sad when he's in the hospital.
The good things are that he's kind of easy to take care of except for the times that he's really crabby and sad. I think I am a good big brother for him because I like to take care of him and I think he's funny when he's happy.
Melanie G., age 6
Kendra has Acid Reflux. I feel sad for her. I hope she feels better. She pukes a lot.
Erin Z., age 8
My baby cousin Elyse is a special child. Elyse was born June 16, 2006, all she wanted to do was sleep. First the doctors thought it was just a heart problem, and then they said she had Phaces. There are six kids that have the same thing. She had four surgeries. My uncle is very sad because sometimes he cannot see her.
I get to see her on the weekend. I can make her laugh. On the computer I can see her pictures from home. One day she stopped breathing so my mother and I were crying at home. She is very happy when people come but during the day she is alone. Elyse is so special to me!
Abi S., age 7
Hi! My name is Abi and I am seven years old. I have a sister named Nitara and she is four years old. And she has EE. EE is kinda strange. It makes people not eat much food. Because if she eats so much food and sometimes she eats what she's allergic to, and she might get a bad tummy. I feel kinda sad about Nitara having EE. I see her vomiting when she eats the wrong food and sometimes she always complains for two or three weeks that her stomach is hurting. It's not fair. I think that when she's staring at me eating something else that she's allergic to, she may feel kinda sad. I like to play bowling with Nitara but not now 'cause she's sick. When she's feeling bad I sometimes give her presents in wrapping paper, a card, or a note pad. It kinda makes her feel better. When I grow up I want to be a bird keeper.
Note: Shortly after writing this, Abi was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and is beginning her own medical journey. Nitara's story was featured in the April Edition.