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Eternally Grateful

Today we have the treat of guest poster Nikki, big sister to Brett.  There is truly nothing like the sibling bond. Learning and growing together.

My brother Brett is one of the brightest lights in my life.  He came into this world 26 years ago and as a 6-year-old girl, I wasn’t sure what to expect when my parents shared his diagnosis.  But, we all leaned in and embraced him as the newest member of our family.  We learned sign language to communicate with him when he wasn’t quite ready to speak.  We were patient as he went through frustrations with daily tasks.  We supported him and found programs that would help him thrive.   But mostly, we loved him as he was and is – a special gift for our family and this world.

He has taught me patience, kindness, optimism and seeing the best in people.  He has a true zest for life and a spirit that is contagious.  He is my rock – he grounds me and reminds me of what’s truly important in this life.  He reminds me to “stop and smell the roses”.  He has taught me to be fearless and try new things, while also not being so worried about what other people think.  He has shown me how to love unconditionally. His hugs have the power to make any day brighter. His smile lights up every room he walks into.  He has had such a profound impact on my life and I can truly say that I wouldn’t be the person that I am today without his love, light, and laughter in my life.  He makes me want to do better, be better, love harder and advocate for acceptance and kindness.



I also couldn’t be more thankful that he (and the rest of my family) found GiGi’s Playhouse.  This special place has provided a community of love and support that my entire family cannot get enough of.  This special place has helped Brett achieve his true potential and so much personal happiness and fulfillment.  For that, and for him, I am eternally grateful.



Thank you, Nikki, for sharing! We would love to hear from more of you and share your story, please send an email to info@gigisplayhouse.org to learn more.


  1. Marlene Schatzman on February 7, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Ok serious tears, I am touched that my daughter wrote this beautiful blog and thankful you shared it. So much joy❤️

  2. Laura Currier on February 7, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    Tears here too Nikki! You said it all perfectly. Brett makes my day complete. He makes me step back and appreciate the little things. He also always says something to make me laugh! You definitely hit the jackpot having Brett as a sibling!!!

  3. Cindy Marie on February 7, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    Nothing more special than the bond between a sister and her brother! Thank you for sharing what you’ve experienced with Brett for 26 years! GiGi’s is so lucky that he shares his enthusiasm and positive energy with us! Tears, too!

  4. Cindy Marie on February 7, 2019 at 5:07 pm

    Nothing more special than the special bond between a sister and her brother! Nikki, thank you for sharing what you have experienced with Brett for 26 years. GiGi’s is so lucky that he brightens our days with his enthusiasm and positive energy! He is a true gem of a brother, a friend to me, and all of us!

  5. Jenny Park on February 7, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    Happy tears. So beautifully written and I couldn’t agree more. You are a wonderful sister, you have an amazing brother, and an awesome mom. Much love to your family.

  6. Cathy Judge on February 7, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    We are so blessed to be graced with Brett Schatzman at the Playhouse almost everyday. He is loved by all and is such an inspiration. He is generous and kind and his love for GiGi’s knows no bounds. In addition we are grateful to the entire Schatzman Family for their dedication and commitment to the Playhouse. His Mom, Marlene, wears many hats at the Playhouse and is one of our truly GREAT GiGi’s Moms!😘♥️

  7. Kristin Burger on February 7, 2019 at 6:35 pm

    I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with Brett at GiGi U and he truly is an inspiration to me! He has such a kind and giving heart and he makes me smile or laugh all the time. Brett is who he is because he has such a wonderful, supportive family. Nikki, what a blessing you are to Brett and your parents! Such a beautiful, touching tribute to your Rockstar brother!

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