The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

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An Older Sister's Appreciation
Mattie and Me
Mattie and Me
An Older Sister's Appreciation

I have lived, breathed, and experienced literally everything there is to experience with a person with a disability. I would not change my experiences for the world, and I would never wish my brother to be any different. I cannot put into words how I feel about Mattie. He is by far the most amazing individual I have ever met and knowing him has made me the person I am today. I cannot imagine my life without him in it and I am convinced that he was placed into mine and my family’s life on purpose.

He makes every day happier and more exciting. When he accomplishes simple feats I feel more joy than if I were to accomplish something. My knowledge has grown from being related to Mattie. He has taught me about being happy through adversity, accepting others, and working hard. I have never met a person has joyful as him, he lights up a room when he walks in with his huge smile and his uncontrollable laughter.

Mattie loves and accepts everyone he meets. He will greet you with a hug the first time he meets you and once you become a regular to him, he will kiss you on the cheek. He has never once judged or mistrusted an individual and I think he sees into the soul of every individual he encounters. Mattie works so hard to learn things that we take for granted.

He strives in school and at home, and puts up little resistance to work. He cleans up the shelves in the shoe department of TJ-Max with a huge smile on his face, and he runs old papers through the shredder at the prosecutor’s office with joy. I have never had any stereotypes for people with disabilities but I can say that Matthew has changed other people’s stereotypes. He touches every heart of every person he meets. He is a charmer and you cannot help but fall in love with him. The people who judge him and call him names do not know what they are missing out on. Not only are they ignorant, but they will never be able to have their lives touched without opening their heart and getting to know him. I have watched kids call my brother a retard and laugh at him and everywhere we go in public people still stare at him. My brother and I have become very protective of Matthew and are not afraid to say something.

I cannot describe everything that Mattie has done for me. He has made me the person I am today; by helping me find my career path, by shaping my character values, and by teaching me about humanity, compassion, and equality. I wish that everyone could have the chance to spend a day with him, because I know that spending a lifetime with him as changed me forever. He is my best friend, my favorite person on this earth, and the voice behind every decision I make.




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Michael Purri, United States, NJ
06/14/2012 09:30:58
Hey, this is just amazing I have a sister with down syndrome and I feel the exact same as you.

Dawn Mattivi, United States, CA
06/13/2012 09:47:25
Thank you for sharing, Kara! Just beautiful...

denise massimo, United States, NJ
06/12/2012 23:04:41
Beautiful story Kara!

Dave Hanson, United States, MA
06/12/2012 17:57:17
Kara you are the best older sister in the world, you always talk about your brother at school and tell us how awesome he is! You always try to do the best you can to fight for him and his rights and to give him everything he wants and deserves in life!

Penny Wallin, United States, ME
06/12/2012 16:56:14
Beautiful tribute to your brother...I went to college with your parents and am not surprised to see what a beautiful, loving and close knit family they have created through love. You look just like I remember your mom.

Norma James, United States, NJ
06/12/2012 16:41:15
A beautifully heartfelt story!

Karen McHugh, United States, MA
06/12/2012 15:12:46
Beautiful Kara, just beautiful. It's such a shame that there remains such ignorance in the world. Mattie could teach those people a lesson or two.

Rebecca Graham, United States, UT
06/12/2012 15:10:11
This is one of the most united families I know! These siblings are best friends and are such a good example for the community! Thanks for writing this, Kara :)

Ann Baldwin, United States, CT
06/12/2012 14:50:15
Great, heartfelt story Kara. Thanks for sharing your amazing life with Matthew!

cath wannemacher, United States, NJ
06/12/2012 14:05:21
you are lucky to have each other!!!!! As much as Mattie has tought you - you have tought him - Lovely Kara Lovely

Victoria Szamreta , United States, NJ
06/12/2012 13:46:01
this is a great story that everyone should read. this family is honored to have a child like him and it is such an inspiration!

Michael Massimo, United States, NJ
06/12/2012 13:24:48
This is a great story that everyone should hear about. I appreciate you sharing this message.

Michael Massimo, United States, NJ
06/12/2012 13:20:06
This is a great story that everyone should hear about. I appreciate you sharing this message.

Chelsea Hara, United States, NJ
06/12/2012 13:12:26
This is such an inspiration, thank you for sharing!

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