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Future Project

My Brother’s Keeper: What I Learned From My Brother

Susan Cartmell and her brother James

My brother was 6 years younger than me and he was born with Down Syndrome.


So, growing up I always thought I needed to help him. In the beginning that was true. I was the one who would ride him on the back of my bike and I was the one who stood up to bullies when other kids made fun of him. As I got older I couldn’t do that for him because I went away to college and got married and started my own family. 


But then later in life, we got the chance to spend much more time together in our fifties. By now I was a grandmother and he was living in a group home, cherishing his independence. That was when I realized he didn’t need a lot of help; in fact, he actually had a lot to teach me about life.

James died just before the pandemic and I had a lot of time to think about him and how his life affected me. 


This new book of faith is a story about what I learned from James. It is a story of my own spiritual journey and how I evolved as the sibling of someone with a disability.  It's also the story of how I came to see what a gift it was to have a brother like Jamie.


What I discovered was that he had always been much stronger than I realized and he had a lot to teach me about patience, about courage, and about what matters most in life.​

Stay tuned for continued updates on my new book!

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