Demi-Leigh and Vickie Rushton: on Sibling Love

What does Miss Universe 2017 Demi Leigh Nel-Peters and Binibini 1 Vickie Marie Rushton have in common? Yes, they both stand tall at 5’6″ and blessed with gorgeous faces… but they are also wonderful sisters to their siblings with disabilities.

Demi Leigh credits her sister disabled sister as her biggest motivation. She said, “My half-sister was born without a cerebellum and is completely disabled. She is my biggest motivator and inspiration, because her situation makes me realize how special life is and I always want to work twice as hard, enjoy life twice as much so that I can enjoy it for her as well…” Vickie, whose 27 year old brother Kian is with Down’s Syndrome, has been one of the main caretakers of her sibling. She credits her brother as one of the reasons for her Binibini journey. In an atricle from she stated, “We are blessed that God chose us to be with an angel here on earth to experience and feel this kind of love they give, so genuine and true. Isn’t it amazing that even if we’re quiet, they know whenever we need a hug? That’s how special they are. I hope there will be more families that will embrace their uniqueness because they bring so much happiness. Let’s not be violent but rather be patient and shower them with pure love. They depend on us so let’s not fail them. Let’s be strong for them.

It is understandable that Vickie chose her advocacy to be something that hits closer to home and to the heart.  She is advocating for the welfare of people with disabilities, and this draws from her own experiences being very hands-on with her brother, Kian. I have a new-found respect and admiration for Vickie upon learning this about her. Now I understand where her patience, poise and grace comes from. It came from a place of love and empathy.



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