Loving Sister Vows to Care for Brother with Rare Condition for Life

Meet Francesca Pauca, a 21-year-old who chose to become a caregiver for her younger brother, Victor, diagnosed with an exceptionally rare condition.


Victor Pauca, 18, was diagnosed with Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome, a condition within the autism spectrum that leads to developmental delays. At just six months old, his parents noticed he wasn’t hitting typical milestones. By age 2.5, he was diagnosed, making him one of the few cases globally.

In a touching YouTube video, Francesca shares their family’s daily routine. “Different people take on different tasks,” she says, highlighting their united front in supporting Victor.

Victor’s care requires special attention. From transitioning to feeding tubes to frequent hospital visits, Francesca remains by his side. Though nonverbal, Victor communicates through gestures and sounds understood by his family.

Despite her studies at Princeton, majoring in psychology, Francesca plans to return home post-graduation to care for Victor. “It’s the only life I know,” she remarks, showing her lifelong commitment to him.

While their parents continue caregiving, Francesca and her sister are prepared to step in when needed. They’ve also set up the Pitt-Hopkins Research Foundation to help others.

Francesca spreads awareness about caregiving’s fulfillment on social media. “The work they’re doing is important, beautiful, and appreciated,” she says, recognizing caregivers’ often overlooked role.

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