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Kids with Siblings with Disabilities Get a Day of Fun

Created: 03/22/2014 11:03 PM KAALtv.com
By: Sean Boswell

(ABC 6 News) -- There were 55 kids at the Rochester Athletic Club Saturday, and every one of them faces everyday challenges most of us don't.

"She doesn't learn as fast as some kids do," said Grace Larsen

Larsen's sister has Down’s syndrome, and often faces the difficult question.

"People asking what's wrong with her," said Larsen

Her response is always the same.

"She's regular, she's just the same as you," said Larsen.

Ben Marolt's little sister has diabetes. He helps her out by making sure she takes care of herself.

"She needs to check her blood sugar every day to see how her blood sugar is doing and she has to blow this insulin," said Marolt.

Marolt has come to this event for four years now, and he loves it.

"It helps me just like relax and have fun and not have to worry about her or anything," said Marolt.

"These kids have a lot of things that they deal with on a daily basis and to be able to honor them in a day is not enough," said Sibshop’s coordinator Jenn Rodemeyer. “Whether it's inviting a friend to come stay overnight, or going to a movie, it might be a difficult task for them and so that's why we try to create an environment where they can just come and be themselves and be a kid," said Rodemeyer.

"This is a good time for them to be themselves, communicate to each other about what issues or what problems they're having with their siblings in a really fun and non-hostile manner," said Earth Hasassri, a workshop leader.

Hasassri is with the Mayo Medical School. He says it's good that the kids have a day to get away from their stresses and just hang out with other kids.

"They don't get a chance to interact with other children because they're spending so much time with their sibling," said Hasassri.

Sibshops is held twice a year for kids 6 to 13. The next event is a summer workshop on August 14. For more information, you can email mayoclinicsibshop@mayo.edu

Kids with siblings who have special needs get a day of fun at SibShop.


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