Having a sibling with a serious or terminal condition can bring a range of confusing and conflicting emotions; worry, concern, fear, guilt, denial, jealousy and anxiety are all emotions that we see and it is vital they have the chance to express and deal with their feelings.
Curtis and Olivia
“When Curtis stays at Demelza it gives me a break and he loves it there. It means we can have time together as a couple and that we get to spend time with our daughter Olivia, who is eight.
“Olivia has gone along to the sibling support group which Demelza runs and it was lovely that she made a friend there.
“Demelza provides us with the extra support we need as a family. I’m so glad it’s there.” - Mum, Jessica
"The amount of support that Demelza has given to me is phenomenal and I believe that without it, I wouldn’t have been able to remain positive in the many difficult situations I have found myself in. The monthly sibling days were a great way to connect with people like me, who had similar if not the same problems at home, and I found that I made friends with some of them too. Even in lockdown the support never wavered... At Christmas time, Demelza came over with a camera crew, and an elf, who gave us each a gift, and it made me feel really happy and showed me that they do still care for the siblings as well as the ill ones.
"However, I do not know how I could possibly begin to repay for their incredible shows of kindness and support over the trials of the past four years. They did one–on–one sessions with me in school, where I could talk freely, let out things I have kept in, relax and be myself... Demelza have helped me so much throughout the process, and I don’t know where I’d be without them."
“Having a sibling with serious health and physical needs is very difficult; there is very little freedom to do what lots of other families do and as parents we tend to have to give lots more time to Isabella’s needs. Her seizures can literally occur at any time and will put a stop to any plans we may have made therefore causing huge disappointment to our other children.
“Seeing Oliver enjoying a trip of a lifetime with Demelza at Kingswood with no interruptions and no disappointment was so lovely; he really enjoyed himself and he said it was nice to meet other children that could really understand what it’s like living in a family like ours. He actually said it made him feel really lucky!
“I think one of the most important things Oliver learned on the trip was confidence - he was anxious to go not having met anybody before but he quickly got over that and said it was amazing doing such great activities and feeling independent.
“It’s just another amazing thing that Demelza do for families that make things better.”
Nicola, mum to Oliver, Isabella and Emily