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Thi S I Believe

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This I Believe

In Manila, Philippines, I grew up in a big family with a special child. My sister, Christine, had an extra chromosome that made her a special child. Many people in my country in the 1970’s thought that having a genetic disorder like Down syndrome was a curse from God. Really, she was not a curse, but a wonderful blessing to my family. Children from our neighborhood did not want to be associated with her because Christine looked differently than any kids. Unlike me, Christine could not express her self well verbally. She could not play outside because most youngsters would not understand her. Every time I took my sister to the nearby store to buy her favorite ice cream, our neighbors usually talked about my sister and laughed at her. As a kid, all I knew was to complain to my parents about what people said. However, my parents would simply tell me not to be bothered of what our neighbors were saying about Christine; my father and my mother always reminded me not to judge anyone because of how they look like, and this I believe.
Christine was born in 1975; she was our youngest, the sixth child for my mother who was in her 40’s at that time. My sister always felt loved and cared for, not because Christine had special needs, but because she was the youngest among the family. My parents never thought that Christine was different. All the children in my family went to school; therefore, my parents wanted Christine to go to school too. Even though it was hard to locate a school for “children with special needs” at that time in Manila, my mother was fortunate to find one for Christine. My sister was delighted to go to school everyday. One time, she even cried when there was a big storm, and classes were cancelled. Christine became the “it” kid in her class. Her teacher and classmates adored her.
My sister was a very loving, funny, talented…...

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