Sibling Spotlight: Lesley McCallister
Lesley McCallister is the proud sister of Kate McCullough (del+), who was diagnosed with Angelman syndrome in 1989. Lesley’s family has been involved with the Angelman Syndrome Foundation since its inception. She has been a frequent volunteer and speaker on sibling issues and panels at past ASF Family Conferences and brings the perspective of a sibling to an adult with AS to the ASF Board of Directors.
What is your favorite memory with Kate?
One of my favorite memories from our childhood is when Kate was about three years old and learned to walk. My parents and sisters and I were so excited for her! Of course after learning to walk she learned that running was an option and has never looked back! It is always fun to see the look of accomplishment in her eyes when she finally conquers something she works so hard to learn and achieve.
What do you admire most about your sibling?
The thing I admire most about Kate is her ability to love unconditionally and make new friends wherever she goes. She has an amazing smile that can light up the room and bring joy to all around her.
Are there any challenges you have had to overcome with your sibling?
The biggest challenge I had to overcome with my sister Kate to date was when I moved away for college. Back then, FaceTime and video conferencing abilities did not exist, so it was a lot harder to talk to Kate and communicate with her on the phone than it was with my other two sisters. I missed her hugs the most. This last year has made me thankful for advancements in technology and the ability to FaceTime or Zoom with her when we couldn’t see each other in person.
How do you enjoy spending time with your sibling?
My sister Kate loves to watch movies, swim and ride horses. Anytime I can join her in any of those activities it is always a good day. I also love watching her interact and play with my own children now. Kate really seems to enjoy being an aunt and it’s always fun to watch them hang out together.
Do you know an AS sibling who would like to share their story?