Sister act – Nicole pens touching tale about sister’s struggle

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AN INSPIRATIONAL teenager whose sister suffers from a debilitating muscular condition has had her touching tale about coping with the illness published in a new book.

Nicole Rule’s story about her sister Erin’s battle with spinocerebellar ataxia was chosen from thousands of entries to appear in ‘Touching Rainbows’, a book about how youngsters across the world and their families cope with illness.

Erin was born with the condition – which means the muscles in her body do not work properly – but it was not officially diagnosed until four years ago when it became worse and she began visiting Robin House, a hospice run by children’s charity CHAS.

Nicole, from Bishopbriggs, said: “Erin’s condition affects everything including her eyes, her speech and she can’t walk.

“Getting it diagnosed didn’t make much difference to us as nothing changed and we already knew how it was affecting us.

“However, Robin House has made a big difference. We go there every six to ten weeks and they take care of her for four to five days.

“I’ve made friends there and there are people that I can talk to if I need to. They’ve been a great support.”

Nicole is delighted that she has been able to write about her sister’s condition and how much Robin House has helped her family.

The sixth-year Bishopbriggs Academy pupils added: “I felt a bit shocked when I found out it was getting published. I thought it would be difficult to write about because I’m not usually very good at stuff like that, but once I started it just all went together.

“I feel proud of myself. Not many people can say they’ve done this. It’s good to be able to thank Robin House. It’s a great way of paying them back for what they’ve given us.”

Nicole was one of four youngsters who visit Robin House whose stories were chosen for the ‘Touching Rainbows’ book, which was produced by the International Children’s Palliative Care Network.

Nicole is pictured (above left) with sister Erin and mum Julie. (K20946)

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