Actually, My Younger Brother Is My Role Model
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To My Younger Brother, I Can Never Explain How Much Of a Role Model You've Become For Me

Yes, he may look taller, but I'm really the older sibling.

To My Younger Brother, I Can Never Explain How Much Of a Role Model You've Become For Me
Andi Mazzarella

When Ty was in 2nd grade, he was diagnosed with a condition called acute cerebral ataxia. This caused the frontal lobe of his brain to swell. As a result, he lost his ability to walk and talk and was bedridden in the hospital for about 2 weeks. There was even a point when the doctors came in to inform my parents that they were not sure if they would be bringing my little brother home.

This was a really detrimental point in my brother's life. Pushing through, he made it out of the hospital and went right into months of physical therapy and speech classes. I remember we had a blue line of tape down one of the hallways in my house where he would practice walking in a straight line to gain his balance and mobility back. Though he was making progress, he was unable to attend school for most of the year.

He eventually managed to gain his strength back and was making up class work with a teacher that would come and catch him up on class material at home. After a couple of months, he even managed to make it back for the last month or so of school.

One of the activities that would happen at the end of the school year would be the gym class track meet, and like every other student, Ty wanted to participate. The little kid decided he wanted to run, and not just that, he wanted to run hurdles. When it came to the day of the track meet, he ran through every hurdle, knocking each one over, but he was up and running again.

Though my little brother made it through this difficulty in his life, this wasn't the end of Ty's medical issues. Somewhere along the line, he decided he didn't want to be an easy kid. He developed asthma, which meant many emergency trips to the hospital, and exercised induced anaphylaxis shock from tree nuts, meaning that if he were to eat tree nuts and exercise intensely within an hour window, he would end up having a severe allergic reaction, causing his throat to swell shut.

Even though he experienced many scary and life-threatening instances because of his medical issues, nothing seemed to stop his motivation or stop the little kid from doing what he loves, which is playing soccer.

Yes, he used to have to bring inhalers to every game and practice, and now refuses to eat anything an hour before doing any physical activity, and currently has to carry an EpiPen in his soccer bag, but none of this ever stopped him from playing.

Over the years, I started to really become proud of and inspired by my younger brother. He has pushed past and conquered everything that has tried to squander him while growing up. Though he lives in fear that eating a cupcake will make his throat swell, he still manages to be the happy and driven athletic kid that everyone knows him to be.

Ty, you inspire me every day to push myself towards goals that I want in life. You help me get through difficult situations knowing that there's always a bright side to my struggles. Thank you for being the strong younger brother I couldn't live without.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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