31 Days of SMA: Brian Schaefer

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by Kevin Schaefer |

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Day 29 of 31 Days SMA Topic: A Brother’s Perspective This [email protected]_91’s story: Hello, my name is Brian. I’m 29 years old and my younger brother Kevin has SMA type 2. Having a brother is a special bond you can’t share with anyone else. As the older brother, I’m supposed to be considered the role model, but I always find myself looking up to him for advice. There are many things Kevin can’t do that many people take for granted. I often hear how I’m such a great brother for helping Kevin do daily tasks just because he’s in a wheelchair. I want people to understand that that’s what brothers are for. When he needs help, I’ve got his back. Likewise, I know he’s there for me. People often look at wheelchairs as a limitation or a disadvantage. As someone who has seen my brother break through barriers, I can assure you he’s just as capable of accomplishing anything he sets his mind to as any able bodied person. One of my favorite things about him is his quick wit. Often people will say “wow you’re a great driver!” He responds “Wow you’re such a great walker.” We’re three years apart and we have completely different interests. Kevin can spend hours in his office reading graphic novels or bore you to death with a movie review most people have never heard of. I’d rather spend my time watching countless hours of sports or be in the mountains hiking. While we both have different interests & hobbies, at the end of the day it makes our relationship stronger. After a busy work week we can come together, grab a beer and exchange stories. The older we get the closer we become. When Kevin was diagnosed in the mid 90s there were many unknowns. Fast forward 25 years and the advances in technology and research are astounding. Watching Kevin receive his robotic arm five years ago was truly a blessing because it gave him the independence he was craving. Kevin never quits no matter how many curveballs life throws at him. Having a brother with SMA has made me a better person. It has given me a unique perspective on life and reminds me to not take things for granted. I wouldn’t want it any other way. #SMAAwarenessMonth #SMAAwareness #31daysofsma2020

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