My name is Gabby Scollard and I’m from Sydney NSW.
My older brother Alex had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He was diagnosed in 2003, just before he turned 7, when I was 4 years old.
Alex passed away in April 2019, when he was 22. Alex was not only my big brother and my best friend, to this day he is still my hero. We shared a bond like no other and were pretty much inseparable. Sure, we annoyed each other like crazy and he kept me on my toes but as far as siblings get we were as close as they come.
When we were younger we would spend hours together playing with toys, making up games or out the front in our little red jeep. As we got older and I got my licence, I would take Alex to whatever sport he was playing on the weekend. I was and still am the proudest little sister. I was his number one fan and his biggest supporter. He would always be shouting at me to be quiet from the court when I was getting a little too enthusiastic.
Otherwise, we would be off to watch a football match, see a movie or strolling around the shops. We were always teasing one another about our terrible driving, Alex’s crashing into walls and doors at home and me hitting the bumps too hard on the road.
Alex was the best older brother I could have dreamed of. Not only was he my personal alarm clock, he also provided me with constant jokes and laughter, with and at him. We took some truly awful selfies together and bonded over tv series we were watching. Alex would always ask how my day was, no matter the mood I came through the door with and very much fulfilled his role as a protective big brother. We had always one another’s backs, and would never let the other go down for anything on their own.
My heart is still shattered from losing Alex and it feels like there will always be a piece missing. It’s hard to put into words how difficult it has been and how I miss him more than anything. I would do anything to see his smile or hear his laughter again, or even have him run over one of my toes.
My biggest piece of advice to other siblings of someone with Duchenne or Becker is to spend as much time with them as possible. Having a sibling with Duchenne really put it into perspective how you have to take advantage of every moment you are blessed to have them in your life. Get involved with their interests, for me it was getting involved in Alex’s wheelchair sports but it could be as easy as watching a TV show together. You have to make the most of every second because there will never be enough time with them.
For anyone with siblings, no matter how big an argument, how much they annoy or irritate you, if you disagree with one of their choices, remember how lucky you are to have them in your life. To see other siblings have their fallings out, when we are not promised tomorrow, breaks my heart. I would do anything to have my big brother back, but I won’t ever get the chance.
And finally tell your siblings how much you love them. You probably aren’t saying it enough and it’s something I wish I could hear again. Give them a hug if you can, because the last one will never be long enough.