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Joni and Friends Blog

Helping Siblings Thrive


It’s a very special week here at Joni and Friends… we’re celebrating the typical siblings in families impacted by disability!

Typical siblings play a special role in the family dynamic. Daily they make sacrifices for the welfare of their family through both service and patience, and typical sibs help their families navigate a world that can look different than most.

This is true for Joel, Ester’s younger brother. When Ester was just eight months old she was shot by gang members, resulting in a debilitating spinal cord injury. Now 12 years old, Ester received a wheelchair during our Wheels for the World outreach in El Salvador last year. Following the outreach, Ester’s family was invited to International Family Retreat and we were excited to meet the entire Ramos family.

Joel said his favorite part of Family Retreat was releasing newly hatched turtles into the ocean and attending the talent show. He told us that he enjoyed the talent show because he was able to see his sister, Ester, play the piano as her talent.

When we asked Joel what it’s like to have a sister with a disability, he shared, “I feel very proud to have a sister with a disability because she is able to overcome all of the obstacles and to fight for what she wants.”

“For many siblings, growing up alongside a brother or sister with disabilities can be an enjoyable and deeply rewarding experience. But others have carried emotional and even physical wounds for years. Their feelings of anger, hurt, resentment, and confusion are realities that must be faced – but not alone!…”


Download this free chapter of Real Families Real Needs and continue reading about the realities of siblings. With God on your side, there is so much you can do to help siblings thrive through unique challenges.

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