Supermodel Chris Garafola credits the success of his career to the inspiration he draws from his sister, who has Down syndrome.

Brittany turned 32 years old in July—and because her family always orchestrates something special for her birthday, she excitedly waited to see what they had cooked up next.

It was her 29-year-old brother, this year, who took the lead and spent weeks organizing a lavish photo shoot for his big sister.

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Ever since they were kids, Brittany always wanted to do the same things her brother did – including modeling in front of a camera.

So when she was led to a field filled with photo equipment, she was overwhelmed with emotion.

“She started jumping up and down and giving me a hug and crying,” Garafola told PEOPLE. “It was really emotional.”

“She’s been my best friend from the beginning,” Garafola added. “For me, my purpose here is to make sure my sister has a good life, is protected and is healthy. Her happiness is my happiness, and that has held true from when we were kids to today.”

(WATCH the video below)

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