Today we introduce you to Catherine Flynn who, with Erica Hauser, will serve as a volunteer Sibling Support Lead and help us build our new Sibling Support Program. Both Catherine and Erica reached out to us separately to ask what we could do to support the siblings in our community. Over the past several months, Erica and Catherine have been meeting with us, connected their daughters so they could share experiences, and have started to design an inclusive program for siblings in our community.
Catherine, the mother of two daughters ages 9 and 13, shares why this program is important to her:
I am thrilled to be working with Erica Hauser and her family as well as my daughter Elizabeth and the BRP team to help develop a meaningful place for siblings of families affected by epilepsy to gain the support they need.
Having a sibling with special needs can add an entire additional layer to family dynamics. Often parents have the support of doctors, friends and colleagues but siblings are left to feel alone and helpless. We want to change this by using our own experiences as families who have siblings in this position so they know they are not alone.
The Brain Recovery Project means so much to me. I actually stumbled upon BRP while doing research for my youngest daughter who was diagnosed with focal epilepsy. Knowing her diagnosis was one that has a large surgical success rate I needed to find a place like BRP that had done the research to validate my decisions. The BRP helped me come to the table with an informed mind to work in partnership with my doctors to make the hardest and best decision for our youngest daughter. I am happy to know that my oldest daughter who doesn’t have epilepsy but has a sibling who does is going to work with this great organization to help create a place for siblings to have a voice and gain the support they need to realize they have a village too.
If you have a sibling in your family who would like to participate in the pilot group for this program, learn more here by clicking the button below.