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Club helps the brothers and sisters of special needs kids cope

"We became a not-for-profit about one year ago," said Sheridan. "Since then we raised about $14,000."

Most recently, the club received a $5,000 donation from the New York Life insurance company, which it was presented with during halftime at a Tuesday, Dec. 29, Siena Saints basketball game.

Dena Ackerman, whose 13-year-old daughter, Courtney, attends the Bus Stop Club, said the club has provided a way for her daughter to cope with the disproportionate amount of attention given to her younger brother, Kyle, who was diagnosed with Type One diabetes.

"It gives her a chance to just have an outlet and opportunity to talk to people in the same boat as she is," said Ackerman.

"The main focus is to have her voice the stresses she feels. With Kyle's disease a lot of times the focus is on him," said Ackerman. "She definitely comes home and sees she is not the only one with the experiences she has in every day life."

Dena said that Courtney gains perspective by talking with the other children in the club.

"In some ways it makes her appreciate that she doesn't have it as bad as others," she said.

Sheridan said that he hopes to expand the club into the City of Albany, and Clifton Park in the coming year.

"In the Capital District, there are about 25,000 children listed as mentally or physically disabled," he said.

According to Sheridan, that means there are from 25,000 to 50,000 siblings that could benefit from the Bus Stop Club.

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