A teenage boy is touching hearts across the Internet with an emotional letter he wrote to his older sister after finding out they’re half-siblings.
Pamela Lara, an 18-year-old dancer from Houston, Texas, shared the heartfelt note from her brother Bryan Lara, 17, on Twitter last week and it quickly went viral.
The letter reads: “I just wanted to let you know how much I love you. I don’t care what people say, you are always going to be my sister — my full blooded sister. You are the best thing that happened to me, I love you with all my heart.
“Thank you for helping me on my worst and thank you for leading me the right way,” adds Bryan, who is also a dancer. “I will always be there for you, just like you always been there for me. I love you.”
The letter was signed, “With love, Your annoying brother,” and presented with an array of snacks.
“My little brother found out I’m not his fully sister and I came home to this.. I’m crying..” Pamela captioned the post, which has since garnered nearly 11,000 retweets and more than 50,000 likes on Twitter.
Pamela tells PEOPLE that she found out when she was just 9 years old that her brother and sister were actually her half-siblings.
“I had to keep it a secret from everyone just so it wouldn’t affect our family,” she explains. “And mostly because I was scared that I was going to be looked at differently by my siblings.”
“My older sister found out in the most unpleasant way, but it was a relief that she understood and agreed to keep it a secret,” she adds. “My brother ended up finding out sooner than expected from my sister through an argument.”
Pamela says Bryan knew she wasn’t ready to talk about the situation so he wrote her a note instead.
“I got home and found the snacks along with the letter. That opened my eyes,” she says. “It brought him and I even closer.”
Pamela says she decided to share her story to help others going through similar experiences.
“It’s comforting for others who are also afraid of facing it,” she says. “Either way, blood does not define family. I have never, nor will I, see my brother any differently.”