Many people pity my brother and my family because they don’t value my brother’s existence like I do. 

Michael is 26 years old. He has significant developmental disabilities that limit his ability to participate in daily life. He requires around-the-clock care and assistance with almost every task. He is non-verbal, which strains his ability to communicate his wants and needs. This puts a massive amount of stress on my family to ensure that he is comfortable and content at every hour of the day. 

Michael will never get to experience many of the joys one hopes for in their lifetime. He’ll never have a fulfilling career, enjoy the company of a partner who cares for him, or experience having children of his own. 

However, Michael can laugh when he listens to The Beatles, hum along to Christmas carols, and love and be loved by his family and community. Michael can inspire us, his siblings, to reach our fullest potential and can teach valuable life lessons. Michael can swim, dance, and laugh with such utter joy that it puts a smile on everyone in the room. 

Michael can experience and enjoy life to the fullest extent of his capabilities. 

There is no blueprint for the human experience – every life is valuable, and every individual has a right to enjoy life in their own, unique way. 

Michael’s life is worthy of dignity. 

You can help defend the right to live with dignity.

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