Saturday, June 03, 2006

My Brother Is Not His Disability

From -- This is a heart-warming story that should remind us all that life is meant to be lived no matter what your circumstances are...

"Last July, I took a car trip with Kevin, my 15-year-old brother. The music was blasting and the sun was shining through the windows, warming our faces. We were singing loudly to the tune on the radio—Bruce Springsteen, of course. We cruised down the highway enjoying the summer heat and each other’s presence. I looked over and couldn’t help but feel immensely happy when I saw his face with its beautiful smile that cures all pain and those deep blue eyes that see the world in a perfect light. The song ended, and he hit repeat.

We were going to a summer camp for children and young adults with developmental problems. Kevin has Down syndrome, one of the most common causes of cognitive delays, and he is legally blind. He is also an amazing young man who has many talents to share with the world. Unfortunately, most people miss out on his gifts because they are focused on his disabilities. I wish everyone could see him as I do. He is just Kevin. Simple as that.

A well-meaning friend once told me, “Colgan, it must be so hard having a brother who is mentally retarded.” I was so taken aback! Perhaps it was my naiveté, but I prefer to believe it is because I have lived with Kevin for 16 years now that I see him as he really is. At that moment, my eyes were opened, and I began to realize that many people in the world share my friend’s view.

My brother is not his disability. He is a teenager who loves sports and PlayStation, who cares a little bit too much about his hair and is a little bit too confident, who is kind to every person he meets, who makes you laugh so hard your stomach hurts. He’s a boy just like anyone else. Kevin does not have “special needs.” All he needs is a chance."

To continue reading this story, please go to this page on

Good luck today and make it a great day!


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