Claire is a creative , funny and sensitive big sister to Anna. At ten years old, she loves anything artistic and can often be found drawing, doodling or writing stories about characters she creates. Her biggest joy is spending time with animals. She loves to ride horseback and spend time with the other animals at the farm. She enjoys creating stories for her art and spending time with her sister, entertaining her when they are homebound during Anna's treatment.
Claire’s mom, Ruth is proud of her being kind, generous and helpful throughout her sister's treatment. She realized early on that her needs and wishes would often need to become secondary during her sister's many hospital and clinic visits. She is generous with her sister when Anna isn't feeling well. She lets her know it's OK to be mad or sad, and will usually let her younger sister have her way. “She gives up so much and does it willingly and kindly,” Ruth says, “I could not be prouder of my daughter. She has done so well in trying to understand a big and scary new future for the family, while also managing her own life as a fifth grader. It is not always easy, but she always tries her best.”
Claire had her own struggles in dealing, as a sibling, with her sister's treatment and it was difficult at times to understand and address her needs while balancing a very demanding schedule for Anna. Claire had to quickly come to terms with what it meant to face fear and uncertainty with love and strength as a family. It was a positive learning experience for the whole family. She was very excited to help with the family’s lemonade stand for ALSF and she was involved in every aspect of planning and preparation, including recruiting a friend to join them selling on the stand day. She has always been sensitive to others, but her mother feels that she now has a greater understanding of the impact she has not only on their family but also on the greater cause of awareness and fundraising. She is a very willing and eager partner in everything. She is even thinking of ideas for how to raise more money with her friends next year at the stand!
Claire has found that resources addressing siblings exclusively have been so important. They resonate with her in a way that makes her feel special and understood in ways that her parents or others cannot. She knows that her situation is unique. It is through the connections she has made in the community with siblings that her mother has seen the best version of Claire, where she feels like she belongs. Materials, outings, camps, etc. have all played a role in helping her navigate this path. Claire loves to receive the SuperSibs mail just for her.
“I could sell lemonade every day! This is so fun!” – Claire
Information provided by Ruth Ciamarra, Claire’s mother
Updated November 2016