Siblings Day is a global awareness day held on April 10 of each year. It is a special day to celebrate the unique bond between brothers and sisters.

This year, we are grateful to two sisters who recognize their amazing sibling, Katie, for this unofficial holiday. Read their beautiful tribute to learn how even though epilepsy surgery has had a huge impact on their family, it has not undermined the bond between these siblings!


Our Sister

Our younger sister Katie is ten years old and has had epilepsy since she was four months old. Her biggest brain surgery was a right hemispherectomy, where they took out the entire right hemisphere of her brain. The surgery left her wheelchair-bound and the left side of her body paralyzed. Since her hemispherectomy back in 2018, Katie has had a few other surgeries from her brain down to her feet. Despite all these hardships thrown her way, Katie is a courageous, perseverant, and silly kid!

Like all humans, Katie has some challenges which greatly impact her ability and day-to-day mood. However, as Katie’s sisters, we try to focus on her strengths because there are so many that cannot be overlooked.

One of our favorite things about our sister is her ability to read people’s feelings. She loves to make people laugh and has the biggest heart of anyone we know. Anytime she is watching The Office (her favorite show), Katie tries to comfort the characters that may be getting emotional on the screen.

Another key strength of Katie’s is her determination to learn, explore, and be independent. Her relentless hours of playing her bowling game on her iPad have contributed to her beating our whole family every time we take a family trip to the bowling alley. She is also a two-time state qualifier in the Special Olympics track, and she always pushes her mind and body extremely hard to cross the finish line.

Our little sister is one of the most emotionally and physically strong people we know, and she can take on each day with a smile. Even with the limits that her disability has tried to put in her life, she continues to break through them and make the best of the wonderful life she has been given. We are so thankful that God gave us our sister, Katie, we wouldn’t change a thing about her because we love her so much just the way she is!

By: Jill (17) and Brooke (15) Hauser

about the author

Audrey Vernick is our Director of Patient and Family Advocacy. She is the parent of a child who had hemispherectomy for seizures caused by stroke. She holds a level 2 certification in Special Education Advocacy Training from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates and is certified by The ARC in future planning. She also serves on the International League Against Epilepsy’s Social Work and Social Services Section.

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