“He is Someone I am Very Very Proud of “: The Story of a Sister, Lim Shu Ling Sherry, Caring for Her Brother who has Down Syndrome.

Ms Lim Shu Ling, Sherry, 29, is the elder sister of Lim Kian Say, 26, who has Down Syndrome. Sherry is very involved in his life although her parents are the main caregivers. She represents the family at DSA (Down Syndrome Association) events and alternates with her parents to accompany Kian Say for lessons and activities.

Kian Say is currently undergoing training for employment in MINDS – Employment Development Centre. Although Kian Say is ‘high functioning’ and does not require assistance with ADLs (Activities of Daily Living), he requires a companion when going to unfamiliar places. Sherry devotes time on Saturdays to send Kian Say for bowling lessons while her mother fetches him home.

Sherry describes her relationship with Kian Say is being very close. They speak nightly when she returns home from work as she welcomes Kian Say into her room to chat about his day. Sherry has fully embraced caring for Kian Say and has never considered him a burden. She admits that she has been shaped by the experience to being a patient person. Sherry’s concern about Kian Say’s future has influenced her decision to purchase a 5-room flat as her matrimonial home, so that her home will be big enough for her family and Kian Say as well.

Sherry has become an ardent advocate for people with Down Syndrome and special needs. She often brings Kian Say out and introduces him to her friends so that they learn more about such congenital conditions. She is hopeful that with growing acceptance of people with special needs in Singapore, more can be done to be a more inclusive society.

Sherry intends to harness her status as an award recipient to advocate for people with Down Syndrome especially. She is keen to nurture ‘high functioning’ people with Down Syndrome like Kian Say to be paired as buddies to ‘low-functioning’ ones. Sherry feels that such initiatives will benefit those who are ‘low-functioning’, as well as people like Kian Say, who will gain the satisfaction and affirmation in giving to others in the process.

For her passion in advocating for people with Down Syndrome, Ms Sherry Lim intends to be an inspiration to many in the special needs community and beyond.