Inspired – the story of a sibling from Portugal


Hello, my name is Sofia and I’m 10 years old. I’m from Portugal and I’m learning English. I have a sister named Joana, she is 15 years old and suffers from a rare disease called Sanfilippo syndrome.

My favorite place to go with her is the beach, especially in the summer, because we spend the whole day there and days are sooo long in summer! The pool is also one of our favorite places, mainly because Joana and I love to do dives!

I play with her hide and seek, I read to her Anita’s book, because it has very beautiful drawings and she pays attention. I give her lots of kisses and hugs. What inspires me the most about Joana is her smile. I think Joana is FUNNY. She has a terrible illness, but she is very happy.

I think projects like The B.L.A.I.R. Connection are important because they allow the communication between siblings of special children, allows us to meet others like us and we feel less alone. After all, there are many other brothers facing tough problems!


Image for Finding the Unity in Disability

Finding the Unity in Disability

If I don’t have a topic in mind when it’s time to write a column, I read articles. I look into the lives of other siblings of special needs individuals, delving into the struggles, pains, and joys of their respective experiences. From this, I usually find something that I can relate to in my own life, and I let the writing guide me to my own ideas. Read More

Image for Running Out of Pictures

Running Out of Pictures

Now that my sister is gone, photos are one of the main ways I feel that I can connect with her. Whenever I’m missing Blair, I look through old photos and memories. I find it healing to edit photos of us creatively to be symbolic and make it feel new. Here are some of those edits. Read More

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