Hi! My name is Andrew Wyers but I go by Jackson, which is my middle name, and I am a student at Texas A&M at Galveston. To date I have competed in a couple triathlons
including sprints, Olympic distances and a Half Iron Man. However, I wanted
to do more than just compete. I figured that all my hard work and dedication to
training should not just be for my benefit but for someone or something elses benefit as
well. That's when I heard about Shawn's Anomaly, after reading about their goal
and purpose I immediately knew that this organization was the team I wanted to compete with in order to promote and raise money for. The reason for this is because I had a younger sister who was born with an undiagnosed disease.
Even though her condition was never diagnosed and we are still unsure what
exactly was wrong with her I feel that a strong possibility could be that she
had a congenital anomaly. Since part of Shawn's Anomaly's purpose is to fund
congenital anomaly research. It may be possible that one day the research could
find a diagnosis for the condition my sister had and possibly find a cure,
which would save a family from the pain and grief that my family went through
when we lost my sister. Below is a paper I wrote about my sister while in
high school so that everyone donating can get to know my story a little bit
“God sent her to touch many lives and
touch many hearts with her compelling smile and tender virtues” states the
quote I read as I stood in front of my greatest life teacher’s tombstone, my
It all started in the year 1996, I just
turned four years old and do not remember much. However, I do remember how
upset I felt when I found out my new sibling would be a girl. At that point I was the youngest of three boys, and my brothers
and I had what I thought, a great life.
We enjoyed playing outside and riding bikes, and in my mind I thought a
girl in the family would ruin all of our joy.
Nevertheless, nothing I could do could change things, and soon my mom
gave birth to my new little sister.
During the pregnancy the doctors never saw anything that would indicate her
coming out “different”, but soon after her birth her health took a turn for the
worse. The doctors hastily rushed her to
the neo-natal intensive care unit where she could acquire treatment. After
about two weeks the doctors released her with a very concerning statement. They told my family that my sister had an
unknown diagnosis and would not live for any longer than six months. My mother and father were crushed by the
news. Even though my sister had just turned two weeks old they already loved
her as much as they loved my brothers and me.
Even with the disheartening report my parents refused to give up on her. They rejected to believe that she could get taken
away so soon, so they gave her all the love and attention they could. This
included frequent trips to the doctor, feeding her through a tube four times a day,
and never ignoring her when she would cry in the night. Eventually she lived passed the six month
deadline, and my parents knew they had made it over the first hurdle. At that six month point I turned five, and
that starts the point when I really start remembering the loving person that my
sister developed into.
A few years had gone by, and her
growth never occurred. Also, she appeared very skinny. Still, she constantly wore a smile that could
brighten even the worse days. As she got
older her condition grew more evident. The doctors still had not found a
diagnosis for her and at five years old she still grew no larger than a newborn
baby. Her lack of growth had also
affected her intelligence, she clearly could not reach the intellect level of
the average five year old and she could never talk. This developed into very difficult situation for
my family, because we never knew exactly what she needed when she grew
upset. However, one day while I took
care of her; she held up her hands and formed a weird sign that I did not
understand, and she started to throw a fit.
I held up her doll to see if that would stop her pouting, but she shook
her head and pointed downstairs. Knowing
that mom worked downstairs I went down to fetch her, and soon mom came upstairs. My sister face immediately lit up and she
gave the weird hand sign she had given earlier. Mom noticed this and told me
that she had seen her give that sign several times over the past few days, and wondered
if my sister started to try to make up her own sign language. We soon found out
moms suspicions were correct, and within a month we had our own special way of
communicating with my sister. After that experience, we realized that even
though my sister had a severe mental handicap, she would try her hardest to keep
it from controlling her. She soon discovered how things in everyday life
worked, she would quiet down while we prayed, cry when we cried, laugh when we
laughed, and even tried to pick out her own clothes.
When she turned six and she still had
not grown any bigger than a baby. She also looked like one too, but we could
clearly tell she did not want to be treated like one. She started to refuse
taking her naps and preferred to be carried rather than pushed in a
stroller. Even though she clearly tried
to act mature and undoubtedly understood her condition she never let it upset
her. Everywhere we went she always smiled; people constantly would walk up to
my family and tell us how happy she looked.
She always could tell when someone in my family grew upset and would try
and comfort us, even sometimes offering her beloved doll, which she never let
leave her sight, to my brothers and me to cheer us up. However, all the love she gave us and all the
love we gave her in return could not keep her alive, and two months before her
seventh birthday she died.
Now whenever I think of my sister, I
remember her tender and caring nature in the midst of a huge disability. As I
go throughout my life I am constantly trying to live more like her and give
everybody the attention they need and befriend anyone who needs a friend.
Furthermore, I try not to fret over all the little petty things in life and
live life to the fullest the way my wonderful little sister did.
I hope my story has inspired you to donate. Any amount will help and every part of it will go toward great cause! I have recently decided to raise my goal up to $2000 because so many generouse people have wanted to donate! I don't want anyone to feel like thier contribution is unimportant beacause I've already reached my goal, beacuse it is and will still all go to funding research. I can't express how much it means to me every time someone decides to help me reach my goal! Thank you to everyone who has made a contribitution! Furthermore, if you wish to remain anonymous while donating feel free to check the "Anonymous" check box while typing in your information, and your donations are tax deductable
Thanks for reading!