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National Sibling Day: Honoring our Community of Siblings

At Devereux, we understand there is nothing quite like the unique and special, lifelong bond between siblings. In celebration of National Sibling Day on April 10, 2021, we invited all siblings of the children, adolescents and adults in our care to explain what their Devereux sibling means to them. 

Look below to view photos and inspirational stories that show just how much #DevereuxSiblingsRock.  
  

"I am so proud of Ashley, and all that she has, and will, accomplish. Ashley has always had a beautiful spirit, and has always been a great person no matter what. What this day means to me is I am so happy and blessed to be her older sister and watch her grow into the person she wants to be. She has always loved children and would like to be a nurse, and I am so excited to see her be a nurse one day! This day makes me so happy because I am the oldest, and she's forever watching me and following my footsteps. I'm so happy to see her be the beautiful person she is! I know she will continue to grow and do everything she wants in life! The photo above is us with our mother."

- Amarige - Devereux Texas sibling
  Pictured above (bottom right) in a childhood family photo with Ashley
  (being held on the right)
  

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"Hank, who received services through Devereux Texas from August 1971 to August 1972, says Devereux saved his life. He now chooses to give back by serving as chair of the Devereux Georgia Advisory Board and leading a weekly spiritual enrichment program for Devereux Georgia youth who want to attend."

  Pictured: Hank and his sister, Charlotte, at Devereux Georgia after Hank
  delivered an Easter Sunday service for youth and staff who wanted to attend
  

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"My older brother has autism, and this has shaped me into the person I am today. Sometimes, I try to imagine what my life would be like if my brother didn't have autism, but I simply cannot. Almost everything in my life is different from most because my brother has autism. That certainly does not make my life bad in any way, and for most of my life, I didn't even perceive it as different, because it had always been my normal. One of my goals in life is to see people become informed and educated about autism, as well as other disabilities. I am interested in even perhaps teaching others and sharing my experience of growing up with a sibling who has autism. While I am no expert, I do have an interest in providing the information I can to people who are uneducated about autism and other disabilities from all across the world."

- Olivia - Devereux CARES sibling
  Pictured above with brother, Jake (Devereux-supported sibling)
  

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"I’d like to share with you some of Allan’s favorite things. First and foremost, Allan’s favorite thing to do in the whole world is gambling, especially in the form of poker. He’s also been known to buy a few lottery tickets and scratchers, like maybe a zillion during his lifetime, but wait, he’s not done yet by any means! Another one of his top favorite things is listening to The Beach Boys. This brings me to the time my husband, Tim, and I surprised him and took him to see The Beach Boys at the Paso Robles Fair. He was so excited, and it really made us happy to see Allan sitting there singing and rocking out to their music! I love you dearly, Allan, with all my heart and I’m very honored to be your sister."

- Laura - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above with brother, Allan, and husband, Tim
  

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"Happiness is having a brother like Charles. He's loving, good-natured, funny, a blast to be around, the list goes on. Chaz, you're the best brother ever! All your siblings love you lots!"

- Doresa - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above (right) with brother, Charles (left)
  

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"Brian is my brother. Out of four siblings, he is the second oldest; I'm the youngest. I think of him all of the time. I do wonder what he's thinking as Brian is nonverbal. My earliest memory of him is playing games with me and completing puzzles in rapid speed! He's such a handsome boy. I miss him. I love him. This photo was taken in 1993 during Devereux Family weekend. I do know one thing, Brian has a beautiful, untarnished soul, and my family has been deeply blessed to have him as a part of our family! Hugs, Briany."

- Martine - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above with brother, Brian
  

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"This collage includes some of my favorite pictures of Brian throughout the years. Brian, also known as The Monk, has always been an important part of our family. Our family has always protected Brian. We all knew Brian was very special and that we were blessed. Growing up, all of our friends knew Brian, included him in everything and loved him. In a special way, Brian taught us love, kindness and patience. He's always in my heart. Love you forever, Brian!"

- Marianne - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above in a collage with brother, Brian
  

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"WE LOVE YOU, DION!!! You bring a lively experience like no other! Rock on!"

  Pictured from left: Dion (Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS-supported sibling)
  with brother, Darius, and sister, Damaris
  

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"I'll never forget our trip to Philadelphia when it was raining so hard that we got completely soaked. The weather was terrible, but it was still one of my favorite days! We had so much fun sightseeing, and we couldn’t stop laughing at how hard it was raining. One of my favorite memories of us spending time together!"

- Colleen - Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School sibling
  Pictured from left: Siblings Mary, Nev (Devereux-supported sibling)
  and Colleen, with dog, Zelda
  

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"Our sister, Debbie, has a smile that lights up a room and a heart filled with love. She sees beauty in all people and all things, and you will often hear her say, ‘That’s beauuu-ti-ful!’ or ‘You’re so pretty.’ Debbie is loved by all her family members who enjoy her outbursts of compliments, laughter, singing and dancing, which put a smile on everyone’s face, and bring joy to any occasion. Debbie, when talking to her siblings, Geno and Sonia, always ends the conversation expressing her faith in God by saying, ‘Fear no evil, for God is always with us.’"

- Sonia - Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services sibling
  Pictured above in a collage with siblings, Debbie and Geno
  

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"My sister has taught me more about acceptance and unconditional love than any person on earth. She knows, loves and appreciates people for who they are and as they are. Socioeconomic status, race, creed, gender and physical appearance means nothing to her. Our society doesn’t consider her “neurotypical” - but I always imagine how much better the world would be if my sister’s approach to other people was indeed TYPICAL. I am blessed to be her sister and grateful for her lessons."

- Kate - Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services sibling
  Pictured above (left) with Devereux-supported sibling, Sheila (right)
  

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"Although our brother, Devin, has never spoken a word, he has taught his brothers more about life than any books or classes ever could. Devin exemplifies perseverance on a daily basis, constantly causes us to reflect on what's truly important, and makes us appreciate the little things each day. Devin is our hero!"

- Colin - Devereux New Jersey sibling
  Pictured from left: Siblings Colin, Devin and Jeff
  

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"This is me and my mom, Evelyn, and my sister, Roberta visiting Theresa on her 71st birthday. She looks amazing. It was a special day for all of us."

- Barbara - Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services sibling
  Pictured: Evelyn (front row left), Barbara (back row left),
  Theresa (front row right) and Roberta (back row right)
  

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"Me and my sibling, Sage, have a decent relationship with each other. When we hang out together, we will usually play a type of video game. Playing a game together is how we form our bond, since they’re never home that often. Even if it isn’t always, I still enjoy spending that time with them because it gives me a reassurance that our bond is still there, even if it isn’t always that strong. I also like how much they care for our pets, like our dogs and guinea pigs. I can tell that they truly are important to Sage and mean a lot to them."

- Oksana - Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School sibling
  Pictured above (right) in a childhood photo with Sage (left)
  

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"Rebecca “Becky” was born in 1952 as the third of four children to Gerry and Darlene “Pete.” Our parents made the decision to move our family from a small town in California's central valley to Santa Barbara in 1961. This move allowed Becky to attend the Devereux school, which provided her with the education and peer support best suited to her needs. Becky is the glue that binds the four of us siblings together since the passing of our parents. She has taught us much about patience, humor, simple pleasures and unconditional love."

- Gerry - Devereux California sibling
  Picture from left: Siblings Gerry, Merry, Becky, Terry and nephew, Andy
  

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"Sabrina's laughing is contagious. We love her sense of humor. We can't wait to spend time at the beach with you. See you soon, Buddy."

- Alicia, Ella and Emma - Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS siblings
  Pictured above: Sabrina (bottom photo); Ella, Alicia and Emma (top photo)
  

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"As the youngest two children in our family, Patty and I have always had a special bond. What a joy it is to be not just her brother, but guardian as well. Patty is such a special person, with a work ethic and love that shines. She has always had such a special touch with everyone in the family. She never forgets a birthday! My wife, Beth, and I have always enjoyed her visits and how much she's enjoyed seeing her California great-nephews and nieces. They just love their doting Great Aunt Patty! You are so special, Patty. I love you!"

- Stuart - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above (right) with sister, Patty (left)
  

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  Pictured: Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School - supported
  sibling, Sidney (left), with sister, Samantha (right)
  

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"Will brightens my life. We've shared so many jokes over the years, I can always count on him to make me laugh at something anew. He's one of the kindest, smartest people I know and gives the BEST hugs (Clearly!)."

- Cornelia - Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School sibling
  Pictured above (center) with brothers, William (left) and Henry (right)
  

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"My brother loves Rita's, Dairy Queen, McDonalds' McFlurry and ice cream in general. That’s something we definitely have in common. When we all go out and get some dessert, he loves to point out which one he wants and where he wants to go. When we all get our own dessert, even though we have the same thing, he loves to sample all of our desserts. I really love my brother, Ben. He has a lot of heart."

- Joseph - Devereux Pennsylvania CBS sibling
  Pictured above (left) with brother, Benjamin (right)
  

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"Terry has the greatest sense of humor. The family enjoys visiting him in Santa Barbara when we can, and look forward to his shopping outings. Until he left for Devereux about 60 years ago, I remember laughing with him and basically getting into mischief around the house. His niece and nephew and their children are always excited to see him. Thanks, Terry, for being such a great brother! Miss you."

- Kareena - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above with her brother, Terry
  

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"William is an amazing big brother. He is very helpful and caring. He takes his role as big brother very seriously, and I cannot be more proud. His brother and sister are very lucky to have William as their older brother."

- Laura - Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS parent
  Pictured: William (right) with his younger brother (left) and baby sister
  

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"My siblings mean I will never be alone. I always have them."

  Pictured from left: Siblings Brody, Jordyn, Taylor
  (Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS-supported sibling) and Nicholas
  

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"My sister, Annie, has the largest impact on my life. Every day, I see the challenges she has to endure with her autism. Annie has pretty severe autism, so growing up, I had therapists in my house almost every day to improve her social skills and communication. As a sibling, I got the opportunity to see all of this firsthand. Annie works so hard every day, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Any time I am struggling, I always think about her and how much more she has had to overcome in her life. It keeps me motivated, and puts my own life in perspective. Without her in my life, I honestly don’t know the kind of person I would be today. Annie has taught me to give back to my community, so other families like mine are supported. From a personal standpoint, Annie has taught me to be more patient with others, and to treat everyone with compassion. I would never have wished to have a sister with autism, but Annie’s strength to grow even after being faced with severe autism has drawn out my own strength and made me a better person as a result."

- Danny - Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS sibling
  Pictured above with sister, Annie, and brother, Ryan
  

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"Annie means the world to me. We share a special bond that will never be broken. She helps me every day, and proves to me that anything is possible. I love you, Annie!"

- Ryan - Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS sibling
  Pictured above with sister, Annie
  

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"My brother, Alec, has certainly had a profound impact on both mine and my entire family's lives. He is the most happy, outgoing, humorous, bubbly and warm person that I have ever met. Anyone that has ever come across Alec in any capacity will tell you that he never ceases to brighten their day. Alec has taught me so many things, and has broadened my overall outlook on my life. I can’t wait to see what you will conquer next as you continue to amaze us. I love you, Alec, and happy National Siblings Day!"

- Anderson - Devereux New York sibling
  Pictured above (right) with brother, Alec (left), and mother, Susan (center)
  

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"As the youngest of many siblings, ConnieGrace learned to hold her own from a very young age. She quickly captured us all with her unique interests such as Abraham Lincoln, Michael Jackson and sharks. She's always up for a good laugh and adventures, and we hope that she's never too cool to get trapped in an escape room with us."

- Hailey - Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School family member
  

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"Jordan, you are someone who God made special. And you are special to me! I love going to visit you at Devereux because it is fun spending time with you. We put together puzzles, listen to your music, and I can't wait to go back to your place so we can play PAC-MAN together. You are a great brother, kind, blessed and love music. I love you and miss you!"

- Jeremiah - Devereux Pocono sibling
  Pictured above (left) with brother, Jordan (right)
  

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"Aibhy and I have fun playing Minecraft, Barbies and biking together."

- Maebh - Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School sibling
  

"Aibhlinn gives me nice compliments, and she's nice and helps me, and she's fun!"

- Sullivan - Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School sibling
  Pictured from left: Siblings Sullivan, Maebh and Aibhlinn
  

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"Johnny was a big presence in the Taylor family. His spirit was indomitable sometimes to all our consternation, but mostly delightful, and even inspiring. After overhearing a family discussion about end-of-life matters for an elderly relative, he said to us, ‘When we are all in heaven, we’ll miss New York City, won’t we? But you know what we have to do until then?’ We waited. ‘We all have to keep on following the Yellow Brick Road.’ That felt like pretty good advice, and we have kept it in mind during this past challenging year. Thank you, Johnny. We miss you."

- Jane and Holly - Devereux New York sibling
  Pictured from left: Siblings Holly, Johnny and Jane
  

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"I would not be the man I am today if it wasn't for my brother, Jordan. It feels natural to take your younger siblings under your wing, but as the middle child with two brothers on the autism spectrum, I became both of their role models. With age, I've recognized how lucky I am to have Jordan as a brother. He taught me the important lessons of patience, empathy and compromise. While a heightened sense of responsibility is, of course, present, so is a heightened level of family resilience, and that couldn't be more true in the Cox family."

- Braeden - Devereux Pocono sibling
  Pictured above (right) with his brother, Jordan (left)
  

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"Zack is able to find joy in the simplest of life's pleasures, most notably the great outdoors. Traipsing through the woods is a favorite pastime of his. Zack's remarkable observance of the natural world allows him to discern the call of a robin from the warble of a wood thrush, the bark of an oak from that of a birch. Zack appreciates each season’s offerings, whether it’s a blizzard in winter, a summertime thunderstorm, or the changing colors of autumn. I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to share in his reverence for nature over the years."

- Kaiti - Devereux Pennsylvania - Adult Services sibling
  Pictured above (right) with her brother, Zach (left)
  

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"I can confidently say that I am who I am because of Emma. In addition to bringing me so much joy and laughter, she's also taught me patience, acceptance, compassion and a sisterly love that transcends any "typical" communication. Happy #NationalSiblingDay!"

- Laura - Devereux Pocono sibling
  Pictured above (left) with her sister, Emma (right)
  

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"Julian is the kindest, most down-to-earth person in the world. Julian and I were adopted from different families, but the really weird thing is that we look identical and like the same hobbies. My favorite activity to do with Julian is definitely going bike riding on the nature trails! We always have a blast exploring the woods and finding funny looking trees along our bike ride. My favorite memory with Julian is when he convinced me to take surfing lessons with him on Cape Cod. I was scared at first, but he said that I would be fine and he would be there if anything happens. So we went surfing, and that was the best part of the vacation! I love you so much, Jules, and I can't wait to see you when you come back home."

- Dylan - Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School sibling
  Photo on the left (pictured from left): Father, Keith, dog, Grayson,
  and siblings, Greer, Dylan and Julian
  Photo on the right (pictured from left): Julian and Dylan
  

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"Julian is my best friend. He is a light in my life. I am incredibly grateful for my lil buddy. I can't wait to see him!"

- Greer - Devereux Connecticut - The Glenholme School sibling
  Pictured above (right) with Dylan (left) and Julian (center)
  

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"Larry and I are two years apart and are very close. We FaceTime every evening, and before COVID-19, we would vacation together! We are both looking forward to our trip to the beach this summer! This picture was taken many years ago, but it is a favorite!"

- Linda - Devereux New Jersey sibling
  Pictured above with her brother, Larry
  

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"My sister, Ella, is my best friend, and I love her so much. We play together all of the time, and she is nice to me. She is younger than me. My brother, Wes, is older, and he teaches me how to play basketball and lets me hang out in his room. I love him so much."

- Gabe - Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS-supported sibling
  Pictured above with siblings, Ella and Wes
  

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"My sister is the light of my life. As a twin, we have a bond like no other! She is incredible. My sister is intelligent, loving and witty. I miss her so much and cannot wait to see her again! I love you, Sissy!"

- Sophia - Devereux Texas sibling
  Pictured above (right) with her Devereux-supported sibling
  Isabella (left)
  

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"My big brother, Richie, is one of the funniest, kindest, most fun guys I know. He always makes me laugh, and he always looks out for me. Even though we don’t live near each other, I know he’s there for me. I like to visit him during his birthday week. I help set up decorations and get everything ready for his big day. His favorite part is receiving presents. All in all, Richie is the best big bro I could have ever asked for."

- Angie - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above (front row center) with Devereux-supported sibling,
  Richie (back row left), mother, Carol (back row center),
  and fiancé, Zach (back row right)
  

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"Ohana means family. My sister is a true believer in Ohana, and everything Disney. Going on a Disney cruise has become a special tradition for me, my 10-year-old son and my twin sister, Lisa. Growing up, my parents explained that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. My strength was school, but Lisa's strength is people. She thrives socially. "Everyone loves Lisa" was the family mantra. Looking from the outside in, many times, people feel pity for a family member with special needs. That should not be the case. Often they thrive, and have to help lift the other family members up. That is the case with us. Lisa taught me not to be afraid of people. She showed me what I was missing out on due to shyness. She taught me that embarrassment is self-crippling, and really, simply a form of vanity. I love her for all of those things. I will always admire my twin. She has abilities well beyond me. I am grateful that we are Ohana. I know she will never leave me behind."

- Laurie - Pennsylvania - Adult Services sibling
  Pictured above with Devereux-supported sibling, Lisa (center),
  and Laurie’s son (left)
  

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"It is a complete privilege to introduce my big sister, Elle. She is smart, funny, creative, and at times, like all of us, a bit sassy. On National Sibling Day, I like to show her how much I love her today and every day. This love extends beyond me. My husband adores Elle. They play practical jokes on each other, have each other's back, and spoil one another. For us, National Siblings Day extends beyond bloodlines."

- Jennifer - Pennsylvania - Adult Services sibling
  Pictured above in a collage with sibling, Elle, and Jennifer’s husband
  

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Submission from Sean and Tatyanna:
"To have a sibling is to have someone to look after. To accept people for who they are. To be nice to people no matter what. Being there for them through good and bad times. Playing games and doing stuff together. Getting to watch their favorite movies together."

- Sean and Tatyanna - Devereux Pennsylvania CIDDS siblings
  Pictured above with Devereux-supported sibling, Katielynn (left)
  

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"Jaiden is an amazing brother to his siblings. He has helped them when they are sad, guided them when they needed help figuring things out, and shown them that he can step up when needed. He smiles big, plays hard, and lets them know he cares. They are looking forward to seeing Jaiden soon and giving him the big hugs they have missed while he is learning new skills."

- Kelly - Devereux Pennsylvania CBHS parent
  Pictured above with her husband, Dan, and nine of their 11 children
  (Jaiden is second from the right in the front row) and one grandchild
  

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“My big brother, Pierre has lived at Devereux California for 50 years. Pierre is a fun-loving, happy person who enjoys animals, Angels baseball and anything to do with construction. Pierre loves the outdoors, and will engage in conversation with almost anyone. Pierre lights up a room when he walks into it! Having Pierre as my big brother is so special, and I love him more than I could ever express in words. He definitely has a big piece of my heart! I love you, Pierre!!”

- Susan - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above with siblings, Matt (left) and Pierre (center)
  

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- Jim - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above with sibling, Terry (center), and wife, Monica (right),
  on a cruise to Mexico before COVID-19
  

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"Having Ian as our brother has made all of us better people. Ian shows love the way no other can. He is always there for a hug and will never hold a grudge. His stories are endless, which always keeps us amused. We enjoy our family dinners, long rides to nowhere to find new bridges and his extensive knowledge of trucks, tires and soda!" 

- Shannon - Devereux New York sibling
  Pictured from left: Siblings Michele, Magen, Ian and Shannon
  

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"Jodie always brings a smile, youthful attitude, and inclusive nature to everything she does." 

- Kari - Devereux California sibling
  Pictured above with sisters, Kim (left) and Jodie (middle)
  

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