I live in South Australia

My name is Tahlia, I am 16 and live in South Australia. One unique thing about me is that I’m in year 10 and I have been to 9 different schools.

I have been caring for my sister for 3 years. My sister requires care because she was born with a rare genetic syndrome called Cornelia de Lange syndrome. She has developmental and intellectual delays as well as many health problems.

My responsibilities include feeding, general looking after and bedtime routine. However, I also have to help out with appointments and looking after our other brother who is 6.

A good day caring for my sister looks like lots of laughs, cuddles and making a mess. A bad day caring for my sister looks like tears and me stressing out because I don’t know what to do.

Being away from my sister makes me feel stressed. I don’t like leaving her with other people and next week she starts Kindy which I’m nervous for.

Being a carer has changed my life because sometimes I have to stay back and help instead of having fun, but I wouldn’t change it because my sister and I have a better bond that what most siblings do and that bond will always be there.

It has taught me that no two people are the same, everyone is different, and everyone has their own story. I would cope better with my caring role if I knew more people that were in the same position.

I would like others to realise that you are not alone. My piece of advice to my fellow young carers is never give up. There will always be bad days but soon you’ll realise that the good days outweigh the bad ones.

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