Lisa and Amy Kandziorski are sisters, but only recently did they discover the true strength of their bond. They both grew up in New Lennox. Lisa, 22, has cerebral palsy, and is unable to walk. Amy, on the other hand, is 18 and a freshman at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Lisa has undergone multiple surgeries as well as ongoing physical therapy in an effort to gain more independence. She hopes to become a kindergarten teacher. Meanwhile, Amy is working towards becoming a social worker.
Lisa recently left her local college to join Amy in Illinois. The sisters’ initial plan was to share a dorm while living in separate rooms. Though this may not seem particularly challenging to most people, the arrangement would leave Lisa completely alone during the hours after dark. As the girls unpacked in their new rooms, Amy realized just how brave her older sister was.
Their mother, Kerry Kandziorski said Amy got “very emotional. She really saw for the first time how life was for Lisa.” Amy immediately turned to Lisa and said “I love you, and I want you to be my roommate.” Now, a few months later, Amy has prepared a video for Lisa’s Christmas present. Entitled “For My Sister Lisa,” the video is a scrapbook show of family photos and soft music. Amy also sits silently in the dorm room, telling Lisa’s story through flash cards.
“I think every day about how she shows so much strength. I never once heard her complain about not being able to walk,” Amy said. “I wanted this to be inspiring. If you are disabled, forget about it; do whatever your dreams are. Shoot for your dreams.”