Big Sister Zia

by Zia Vanderburg

About the author:

14 year old Zia and her family found out in 2021 that her little brother, Jericho, has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. To follow the DMD journey of the Vanderburg family as it unfolds, please visit their Facebook page, Jericho’s Journey.

What is it like to be the sibling of someone who has DMD?

For me to be the oldest child and to find out that my youngest sibling has Duchenne when I was in the fifth grade, just made it harder on me to be a good AND even more careful older sister.

To be the sibling of someone who has DMD is kind of rough, but it is not always that rough.

Things I Like

One of the things that I like about being the sibling of someone with DMD is that when I walk through the door of my house after school, he tries to run up to the door to say “Sis!” when he sees me.

I mean I do love when he needs his break because he is tired and he just snuggles with me.

But there are some downsides to being a sibling of someone with DMD.


Like how I can’t really spend time with my mom that often because she has to take care of Jericho.

And the fact that we have to be even more careful with everything we do with him, like if he falls it could be very very bad.

We have to make sure he can’t climb anything so we have to barricade everything in the house. Which also helps us, because he’s learning to open doors and would have went into everything.

Some Advice

You all just have to know how to help out with them and it’ll be a lot easier on you and all the people around you that help to take care of the person with DMD.

And that it will be okay.

You just have to be careful when you have a sibling with Duchenne.

A Very Strong Bond

Now that I have built that very strong bond with my brother, I feel like when we are older, he is going to look up to me, not only as a sister but a best friend also.

– Zia Vanderburg, 12 years old

2 Replies to “Big Sister Zia”

  1. Pingback: It Will Be Okay

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