Jody is my older brother. He is 37 years old. Jody is and has always been an inspiration to me. You see, Jody is not your average middle age man. Jody has Down syndrome and has battled a life long heart condition all of his life. In fact, doctors had told my mother that he would never live past 12 years old. Well, he has proved them wrong and lives 3x longer now than they said. Jody is also a very strong and courageous individual. I say that because we have had a lot of tragedy in our family and he has walked through it with me and actually been a major support for me emotionally. Him and I are the only ones still living out of our family due to our father dying at age 54 of emphysema in 1996. Our older sister died in a car accident in 2002. She was only 30 years old. Most recently, we lost our mom to cancer in 2007. Due to all of this, Jody now lives with my family and me. He has had to make so many adjustments while living with me, and he has came through that with shining colors. I have two children who can be very rowdy at times. Jody handles them with such compassion and grace. He has never been around small kids before now, but you would never know it by watching him interact and play with my children. In fact, he and my son, who is 8 years old and adores Jody, are the bestest of friends. I guess I am most grateful that God chose to put an angel in my family. He walks on this earth beside me each day disguised as a person with special needs, but I know that there is not a more perfect and wonderful human being that could have made my life and the lives of all in my family more special. I love you Jody, with every bit of my heart, and I can not thank you enough for what gifts you have given us.