By Karla Rodriguez
The meaning of the word brave: Ready to face and endure danger or pain; showing courage. Example: "a brave soldier"
This is the story of Carlos Rodriguez, my precious little brother. He is the true definition of a brave soldier, who’s constantly looking at the positive side of every challenge and every aspect in life.
Carlos is a 20 year-old young adult who faces all tough encounters life brings him with an enormous smile, even during his most challenging days at the hospital.
He was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy when he was just four-years-old. It's a rare disease with the progressive deterioration of muscle and loss of movement, eventually leading to paralysis.
Carlos was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia until he was 12 when we migrated to Canada in 2007. During our first summer here, there wasn’t much to do besides watch television and learn English. Most of our time was spent watching Wizards of Waverly Place, a family tv show where Selena Gomez was one of the main characters.
Her show helped us learn English, and we became huge fans of hers.
2012 was a rough year for all of us when Carlos developed pneumonia and spent three months at the hospital.
Watching TV was the only way to pass time at the hospital, and the Family channel was our favourite, so we would anxiously wait for the next episode of Wizards of Waverly Place. It was the only show Carlos was ever interested in and the only one to make him smile during his hardest times.
On January 30th 2016, Carlos’ lung collapsed.
He was rushed to the hospital and we were told he had to undergo a small surgery to help his lung heal.
Carlos was nervous, but as my mom and I tried to comfort him before going in, he gave us a big, hopeful smile and said he knew everything was going to be okay.
After 40 long minutes, Carlos came out of the surgery and we were able to see him. Still with his smile, he said that while in the prep room before the surgery, one of his favourite Selena Gomez songs was playing, helping him feel better, and forget about his anxiety and fear.
This made us realize the impact some people have in our lives. Some have the power to make us happy and give us hope. Carlos’ admiration for Selena Gomez gave him strength to forget the adversity he was facing at that moment.
Please watch his version of the story here:
Growing up, it was very frustrating to see this disease take away my brother's abilities.
Carlos was able to walk and run when he was younger. We noticed he eventually couldn’t keep up with us, and started falling more often, until he couldn’t stand up by himself. He became confined to a wheelchair – all in a matter of probably less than five years.
However, as I became older, I started to realize my brother was helping to shape me into the person I am today.
He taught me to be patient, enjoy the little things in life, to be happy with myself no matter what and to be confident because there is always hope things will get better.
Without my little brother Carlos, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
It is also my admiration for Carlos that makes me happy, and fills my family and I with hope and strength. My family and I want to make him just as happy as much he makes us, which is why we would love to make his wish of meeting Selena Gomez come true.
Selena lit up our world when times were tough and made us smile when we were just getting adjusted to a new country, new house, and new culture.
Now he is hoping to meet her to thank her for all the times she’s being a great source of happiness in his life and we would appreciate your help in sharing and liking his video.
Thank you for reading my story about my brother Carlos Rodriguez - the bravest person I know.
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