First Place Essay
By: Eric A. from Connecticut
My baby brother, Hiram, inspires me even though he has a metabolic disorder. My brother is two years old now, but he was born with this disability. He is not able to eat any foods that have fat in them. My mom has to give him MCT oil, which is special oil that gives his body the fats that he needs to live. Only two people in Connecticut have this rare disability.
Hiram is also a very active kid. You cannot even tell that he has a metabolic illness. If I am mad or sad, he will come over and rub my head or give me a kiss on the cheek. Whenever I go outside, I take him with me, and we play football. We also pretend to fight by imitating a boxer. Finally, my baby brother is so active he can be destructive around the house. He recently used the refrigerator to color on with markers. Thankfully, they were washable and my mom was able to clean it up. I don’t mind when he does things like this, because it reminds me that my brother is just like most normal two-year-olds.
When my brother was born, and my mom told us about his disability, I cried and I thought that he would die, because the doctors said if he got a cold or fever, he could die. Last year when he was sick with a fever, he had a seizure while my mom was driving him to the children’s hospital. Luckily, we were close to the hospital, and they treated him with an IV, and then an ambulance took him to a bigger hospital in Hartford where he recovered.
My mom’s a single mom, so I help take care of my brother by not only playing with him, but helping to clean him and feed him. Having a brother with a disability has taught me that people with disabilities are no different from people who don’t have to live with a disability. Today, I don’t worry as much, because I get to see him acting like a normal two year old. He doesn’t talk much yet, except for saying, “mommy” and “I love you” but that’s enough for me. I will always love him.
Second Place Essay
By: London C. from Massachusetts
The Amazing Truman
I have a 5-year-old brother named Truman and he has inspired me along with so many others because he has William’s syndrome. Because of William’s syndrome, Truman has a serious heart problem and learning disabilities. Nobody really cares though, to me and my family he is just a kid. What inspires me is he has had a lot of surgeries and they’re all just another day for him, it doesn’t get him down. He loves school and thinks of it as a way to see and make new friends. I know a girl that goes to his school and one day she asked if I had a brother. I said yes, his name is Truman, and she told me that he does the morning announcements at her school and sits with her at lunch. Kids at his school who are 10, like me, fight over who gets to sit by him! He is always happy and it’s next to impossible to bring him down. He encourages me to be brave, to keep smiling, and to always be me.
Third Place Essay
By: Caleb L. from Massachusetts
The boy that inspires me is Sam. Sam has a wheelchair because he has Muscular Dystrophy. He inspires me because he can't walk, but he tries to do most everything that everybody does. In gym class, Sam doesn't just sit there; he tries like the rest of us. His determination is what really inspires me. He knows that there is no cure for Muscular Dystrophy but, he makes the best of what he can do. His mother runs races to support him and raise money to find a cure. Sam's courage inspires me to be thankful and to live life to the fullest.