I have a beautiful, older sister Sarina, who has Down syndrome. Our parents raised me to take care of her, as she would never be able to care for herself. We are a year apart and were inseparable growing up. We would play a game she liked to call "I copy you now sister" where she would try to copy everything I did. I believe it helped self motivate her to learn. Sarina was always learning from me. When I moved away, at 17 years old, across the country to college, Sarina was not doing well. She was very ill and regressed at a steady rate. Her team of doctors decided she should move with me for 6 months to see how she would do. I took my sister to Las Vegas, where I lived when we were 21 and 22. We had no help, we learned from each other. Not long after she moved in, we were in a horrible car accident that injured both of us, but myself much more so. Sarina took that opportunity to take what I had taught her to care for herself and to care for me as well. Not only did she help me physically but emotionally she made me stronger, like herself. She started with helping me in the shower and to get dressed and then slowly moved into showing me how to be mentally and spiritually strong. She showed me with her unrelenting spirit and gentle ways that we would be alright as she instinctively knew we would be. We had many ups and downs out in the desert, but Sarina took that time to grow into an independent young woman with many abilities. I will forever be grateful for our journey of self discovery we took together. Our parents were wrong, the sister born with the job to care for the other was the one who needed the taking care of the most. Sarina and I lived together for 10 adventurous years. I know now, while I thought I was her teacher, I was actually her student. While I was teaching her life skills- she was teaching me life lessons. While I was teaching her to pronounce her words- she was teaching me to find mine. While I was giving her a new life- she was molding mine. While I was teaching her to live- she was teaching me to love. I will never forget our journey and have written a book about us to help people understand she does not have a disability, but a different ability. She may have some abilities taken from her due to having Down syndrome, but they were replaced with extraordinary abilities above and beyond what I posses. My hope is that someday everyone will see my sister and others as I do- a shining ray of light that can guide you through the darkest of days. All you have to do is listen not only with your ears but with your heart.