A sisterly bond that goes much deeper than cerebral palsy (VIDEO)

This beautiful two-minute Gatorade ad For the Wind, featuring the Chicago Sky’s MVP Elena Delle Donne, steals our hearts for finally depicting a disabled person in an authentic relationship—not simply as a token.

Elena Delle Donne and her sister Lizzie.

No athlete gets to the top alone. They have loved ones and mentors whose encouragement helps them achieve their dreams and goals. For the Chicago Sky’s guard and forward Elena Delle Donne, one of her most cherished supporters is her older sister Lizzie. Though Lizzie, who has cerebral palsy, is deaf and blind, she shares a beautiful relationship with Delle Donne. Their special bond has even become the focus of a new Gatorade ad called “For the Wind.” The video is so poetic that it feels more like a short film than an ad.

In the video, which was released online Friday, Delle Donne says that her relationship with Lizzie is “so much more than about talking. It’s about touch and other senses. We have to be with each other one on one.”

The video also addresses the drama that ensued after Delle Donne dropped out of the University of Connecticut just days after starting basketball camp in 2008.

“Everyone thinks that I came home to take care of [Lizzie],” says Delle Donne in the ad. “But she was the one helping me, getting me out of the worst rut of my life. She gives me perspective.”

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That’s when the video transitions to its most powerful moment, where Delle Donne talks about the simple, delicious sensation of closing your eyes and feeling the wind rustle your hair and tickle your face. She says that Lizzie taught her to appreciate and celebrate those little moments as something you have, rather than focusing on what your life lacks. In a video that doesn’t shy away from showing the sisters embrace and communicate using their own form of sign language, it’s touching to see that even the wind blowing over Lake Michigan serves as Lizzie’s voice in Delle Donne’s mind.

Apart from its heartfelt tone and long takes, the Gatorade ad is notable because it depicts a disabled person in an authentic relationship—not as a token. Perhaps it was that direction that convinced the normally cautious Delle Donne to get Lizzie involved.

“It was really exciting to see it all come together,” Delle Donne told the Associated Press in an interview about her sister. “With Lizzie, I’m very protective and in general turn down interviews with her. But this was such a special concept so worth sharing with the world. She’s so inspiring and if I can share her gift with as many people as possible and she can inspire some people it’s so worth it.”

We are glad that Delle Donne decided to share Lizzie with us.

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