As I surfed the net looking for inspiration for my post this morning, I found this wonderful video sung by Madison Tevlin. It made me stop, smile, and shed a tear. It tells a story that is bigger than one 12 year old girl who has Down Syndrome. It is the story of hope, dreams, and a family that supports her.
Twenty six years ago, I learned first hand about Down Syndrome. The most amazing person was born, Joe. I had the privilege of becoming his nanny, his almost older sister, and someone who loved him. I have watched him accomplish incredible feats-he played soccer on his high school varsity team, he participated in Special Olympics, he went to college, he got a job,and he moved into an apartment! This is the often hidden side of Down Syndrome.
But let me tell you about what Joe and Madison can teach others. They are not limited by their chromosomes. They don’t let lower IQ, hearing issues, or anything else define them. Their parents and their families made sure of it. Behind every baby born with Down Syndrome is a mother, father, sister, brother, community who works hard to make sure that person succeeds. It is an uphill climb and more often a battle.
I am grateful for having Joe in my life. He has taught me so much. Heck, I even changed careers because of him! He has been a wonderful influence on my children as well.
Watch this video, share it if the spirit moves you, and maybe even consider how you can teach your children about diversity and special needs. I guarantee it will make your heart grow if you do.