Over the years, siblings have told us how much they depend on and appreciate quality caregivers who really care about their brothers and sisters. So, in 2009, we developed two Sibling’s Choice awards to acknowledge and honor caregivers across Wisconsin who do an outstanding job of promoting the independence and quality of life of a person with a disability. Nominations are only accepted from brothers or sisters of individuals with disabilities.
Joel Lillo, Appleton, received a 2021 WisconSibs Sibling’s Choice Family Caregiver Award. Joel cares for Jordan, a young man living with autism and was nominated by Jordan’s sister, Karenna Zills of West Allis.
“Dad has continued to keep Jordan’s needs in focus, even while managing the health crisis related to my mom’s cancer diagnosis. He continually advocates for getting Jordan items and services that will better his life. I truly had not appreciated everything that my dad has done for Jordan until I moved out and started working in the community with those living with mental health conditions. I see how families often step back, but my dad continues to step up to the everyday challenges of caring for Jordan and my mom.”
Johanna Wicklund, Green Bay, WI nominated her parents, Judy and Robert Wicklund for a 2021 WisconSibs Sibling’s Choice Family Caregiver Award.
She writes in her nomination, “Judy and Robert provide daily personal care for my twin brothers. My parents who are in their 70s and 80s and provide round the clock TLC for my two amazing brothers. They seem tireless and grateful to care for the twins, when in fact they are exhausted. My mother went into high gear during the pandemic when all my brothers’ community support services stopped.
Before the pandemic, my parents would go on a date night (which sometimes was a simple grocery run) when they had respite care. Since the pandemic began, they haven’t had respite care, so their self-care currently includes things like doing a virtual yoga class and going for walks…and eating chocolate.”
Professional care is often a loving family’s best resource for support that allows an individual with disabilities to live to their fullest potential or provide a break for family caregivers. This year, the winner of the WisconSibs Sibling’s Choice Professional Caregiver Award was Baily Hubbard, Belleville, WI.
Ava Foley, an 18-year-old sibling from Belleville, Wisconsin nominated her brother’s respite provider.
“I believe Baily should be honored with the Siblings Choice Award because she is someone who Max is always excited to see and brightens his day. Every time she walks in the door my brother has a huge smile and gives her the biggest hug. She is always pushing Max in a positive way to get out of his comfort zone and exposing him to new social situations. She also sticks up for him and educates others who aren’t as knowledgeable about people with disabilities.
She is a very generous and selfless person who is always willing to help others.”
This is the 12th year for the award presentation sponsored by WisconSibs. Nominations are accepted from brothers or sisters of individuals with disabilities. Nominations recognize either family caregivers or professional individuals, including service providers, physicians, attorneys, financial professionals, legislators and advocates who serve and support individuals with disabilities. The awards help siblings acknowledge and honor a caregiver’s contribution to the independence and quality of life of a person with a disability.
WisconSibs, Inc offers support to siblings of all ages in the Fox Valley and throughout Wisconsin through peer support programs, education and networking opportunities, social activities, future planning programs, and leadership development. For more information, go to http://wisconsibs.org
If you want to nominate a caregiver, whether family member or paid professional, complete the simple online nomination form. Click NOMINATION FORM
In 2019 Wisconsin siblings honored 3 caregivers with the Sibling’s Choice Award, including:
Sara Wipperman, New Holstein, WI received a 2019 WisconSibs Sibling’s Choice Family Caregiver Award. Sara cares for Wyatt, a young boy with disabilities and was nominated by Wyatt’s sister, Anika. “I nominated Sara because she helps us a lot,” said Anika Lisowe, 9, a fourth grader at New Holstein Elementary School.
Siblings of any age can nominate caregivers, either family or professional. CLICK HERE TO NOMINATE NOW