Uploaded on Nov 19, 2010
At 6, he teaches people many times his age about inclusion
Recipient of the "Family Tree" award
sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc.
When Kieren was 2 ½ years old he became a big brother for the first time. But his excitement turned to confusion when his sister Lauryn had to go back to the hospital for almost two weeks the day after she was born. When
Lauryn came home, Kieren was a great help from the beginning, always eager to hold his sister and help Mom in any way he could with her care.
Kieren's parents were always honest about the medical struggles Lauryn faced. He asked a lot of questions and took all of the answers, even the difficult ones, in stride. He showed a strong connection to his sister and developed empathy for her, remarkable in someone so young.
Very early on, Kieren openly answered questions from other children about why his sister was different. He is proud of her and truly feels she is as entitled as others to be included in all activities he enjoys. When his family
goes out to an event or fair and he is given something, he asks for one for his sister. Occasionally he is told that his sister needs to come and get one on her own. When that happens Kieren keeps his cool and proudly says that his sister has a disability and he is her helper.
Last fall Lauryn got her first wheelchair. Kieren promptly climbed into an extra standard wheelchair his family had been given and used it to show his sister how to self‐propel her chair around their home. He often gets "his
wheelchair", whenever Lauryn is in hers just so she won't feel alone.
During summer vacation, Kieren began helping Lauryn with her therapy exercises, taking on a role much like a little coach. "Lauryn is so much more motivated to learn to walk when she is walking to her brother," says their
mother, Amanda. "She loves him so much and she wants very much to please him."
According to his parents, who nominated him, "Not only has Kieren been an amazing brother, through his wonderful example, he is teaching our community about inclusion. He has become a great advocate for his sister and her hero too! We are very proud of him!"
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