This Week's Teen Flaunt: Britanie's Sister Has Down Syndrome
A few weeks ago, we shared Samantha's story — about a teen whose sister has Amniotic Band Syndrome and how she's been inspired by her younger sibling. In this week's Teen Flaunt, there's a similar theme. Britanie Montero reflects on what it's like growing up with a sister with Down syndrome. Although she says it's not the easiest situation, Britanie has no complaints. Britanie recalls:
"The first year was the hardest; she could barely hold her head up and always refused to eat. With time however, Emily has learned how to cooperate ,and I am now able to understand her. My sister is a fighter, and with all her strength, she has overcome many obstacles."
Even though she wears leg braces, Emily has learned to walk, play tag, and even dance salsa. She doesn't allow herself to be limited by these obstacles. Britanie says, "Emily can’t speak yet, but she has already taught me so much."
One major lesson Britanie has learned from her sister is how to be strong. Before Emily was born, Britanie struggled with anxiety. She shares, "Somehow, I managed to convince myself that I was worthless; that I was unloved." But as soon as Emily was born, she saw how fragile and tiny she was — and Britanie just knew she had to be strong for both of them. She says, "Emily has given purpose to my life. She has made me realize that I am important and that I am capable of anything."
She reflects on how she's grown to accept herself:
I now understand that I am a work of art, I am healthy and I am worthy. I still struggle with anxiety. Sometimes I feel like I can’t breathe at all, but Emily is always there holding my hand. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason, and I know Emily was born into my family not by chance, but by destiny.
To read the rest of Britanie's inspirational story, head to the Teen Flaunt site. For even more Teen Flaunts that we love, check out these stories:
- Roxanne, 18, overcame cultural barriers
- Nick, 17, embraces his body size
- Courtney, 17, has Spina Bifida Occulta
If you would like to have your teenager or student (age 13-18) write a “Teen Flaunt” that could potentially be published on the Teen Flaunt page, please submit the proposed essay (no longer than 700 words) to: email@example.com.
P.S. Did you know there’s a health and well-being magazine for teens that features inspiring stories every month? Learn more about Choices here, and check out our past pieces about Ashlyn, who feels no pain, and Georgia, who was born deaf.