Over the past few months, I have compiled a huge collection of photos of Kirby. I looked at the pictures of her in her younger years and saw a vivacious and energetic girl smiling back at me. I remembered spending hours with her, treatment letting our imaginations run wild as we made fun for ourselves. We had a connection that bridged the gap between sisters and friends, and our support for each other never waned.
As I continued to look at photos, I was saddened as I saw her body and brain deteriorate. It scared me to think about how much had been lost as the disease attacked her brain. Now that she is confined to a wheelchair and severely mentally handicapped, does she remember the bond we had? Does she remember all the fun and carefree time we spent together?
It was that fear that led me to think about faith. Not necessarily faith in God, but faith that when our eyes meet, she is remembering. Faith that regardless of the disease, she knows I am her sister and her best friend. Although a doctor couldn’t tell me for certain whether she has the mental capacity to remember, I must believe she does. That belief motivates me to continue to be the best sister I can be, and support Kirby throughout her daily fight with Sanfilippo. It has taken so much from my sister, but I have faith that it will never take away the relationship Kirby and I have always had.