This model set up a surprise birthday photoshoot for his sister with Down syndrome – and the results will melt your heart

PHOTO: Instagram/@chrisgarafola
PHOTO: Instagram/@chrisgarafola

He just wanted his sister to feel like a supermodel for a day.

Chris Garafola (29) and his older sister Brittany (32), who has Down syndrome, grew up together in Vermont in the US, and have been best friends all their lives.

According to Daily Mail, the two grew super close after their parents separated when they were young. As a result Chris became very protective of his sister, who had to have several heart surgeries when she was a little girl.  

“I took this responsibility very seriously because I love my sister more than life itself,” says Chris.

The Boston-based hunk was signed to a modelling agency when he was 25 years old – and it didn’t take long for Brittany to aspire to be a model just like her younger brother.

“Brittany has always wanted to do everything her little brother did,” Chris wrote on Instagram.

So when Bittany’s birthday rolled around, Chris, who’s recently been in a campaign alongside supermodel Gisele Bündchen, put his industry contacts to good use and organised a surprise birthday photoshoot for Brittany. 

“Being in the fashion industry, I realised I had a huge network that could potentially make this happen,” he says.

As soon as Brittany arrived on her shoot location and realised what was actually taking place, she cried from “pure happiness”, Chris told Daily Mail.

And it’s not only the male model who can’t get enough of Brittany. His almost 50 000 Instagram followers look forward to seeing her on his video posts regularly. 

A post shared by HIVE STUDIO ( on

With this heartwarming shoot, Chris tried to prove to his sister that she could do anything her little brother could do – irrespective of the number of chromosomes she has in her body.

“The priority was to make her day and show her she can do anything that her brother can do and she should be allowed to.

“I wanted to encourage people to live life happy, be strong and confident, and to spread positive energy with the world,” he says.


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