Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Police Make Video to Help Teen with Down Syndrome Battling Cancer Meet Taylor Swift

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd from People:

Taylor Swift, we hope you're reading.

A 13-year-old superfan who has Down syndrome and is battling cancer really wants to meet her idol, and a police department that knows a thing or two about the power of the Internet has made a video that they hope will make her dream come true.

Delaware's Dover Police Department made international headlines in January when Officer Jeff Davis was recorded jovially lip-synching to "Shake It Off" while driving his cruiser.

The viral smash earned the approval of the pop star herself, who re-Tweeted the department's video. Her record company even sent the department tickets to the upcoming Taylor Swift concerts in Philadelphia on June 12 and 13.

Fan letters poured into the police department from all around the world, but one standout note hit close to home: The mother of Victoria Marsh of Middletown, Delaware, wrote to the officers and told them about her daughter, a dedicated Swiftie who has Down syndrome and was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, in December.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015



The U.S. Departments of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released a draft policy statement on the inclusion of young children with disabilities in high-quality inclusive early childhood programs, and they are seeking public comment.  This policy statement will send a message to states and districts that inclusive early education provides significant benefits to all young children, both with and without disabilities. This argument may also be extended toward inclusiveness in all phases of a person’s lifespan.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Princess Diana and her godchild Domenica

from Hellow Magazine:
Princess Diana would be thrilled to have a granddaughter, according to her close friend Rosa Monckton. Shortly after hearing the news that Prince William and Kate Middleton, had welcomed a baby girl, the British businesswoman and campaigner took to Twitter to say how much her late friend would have loved the new arrival.

"How Diana would have loved a grand daughter," she simply wrote to her 2,280 followers.

The 61-year-old, who was the CEO of Asprey & Garrard until 2002, went on to retweet and respond to those who agreed with her on the social media site.

Rosa also uploaded a photo her daughter Domenica Lawson, who has Down's Syndrome, and who Diana was a devoted godmother to until her death in 1997.

This is not the first time that Rosa has spoken about the kind of grandmother Diana would have been. Back in July 2013 when William and Kate became parents to Prince George, Rosa wrote a piece for the Daily Mail saying Diana would have "relished the role."

Sunday, May 3, 2015

'Time stood still': Students elect girl with Down syndrome as prom queen


Carley House is always looking for ways to help her family and friends, whether it be caring for them when they're sick or putting a smile on their faces with her sense of humor.

So, at Cape Girardeau Central High School's senior prom April 25, Carley's friends repaid that kindness.
As Carley stood on stage, wearing a long coral dress, her name was announced as this year's prom queen. The crowd roared with excitement.
"It was like time stood still," said Carley's mother, Tamilla House, as she recalled the moment. "When they called her name, it was like my focus was just on her. Like I was right there, up on stage with her, sharing in her excitement."
Carley, 18, has Down syndrome. And while she mostly attends a special needs classroom in high school, she also was in classrooms with all students from kindergarten through junior high.
"This allowed her to form true friendships and unique bonds with many students in her grade," Tamilla said. "Carley has maintained those friendships throughout the years."

A couple weeks before prom, seniors were using social media as a way to encourage others to nominate Carley for prom queen court.
"My heart melted just reading those (posts)," Tamilla said.

Friday, April 17, 2015

18-Month-Old With Down Syndrome 'Flies' Through Life in Photographs

18-Month-Old With Down Syndrome 'Flies' Through Life in Photographs 
View photo
18-Month-Old With Down Syndrome 'Flies' Through Life in Photographs (ABC News)

by Genevieve Shaw Brown from Good Morning America:
When Alan Lawrence’s son was born with Down syndrome, he said, “it was a shock. It felt as though he would put limits on what I would accomplish, what my family would accomplish.”
Fast forward 18 months, and nothing could be further from the truth, Lawrence said. Wil, his fifth child, “brings a light to our family.”
Inspired by how Wil has enriched the lives of those around him, Lawrence set out to show not only how Wil has placed no limits on the family, but rather, “has opened so many doors.” He’s convinced Wil will do anything he wants to do in life.
Maybe even fly.
View gallery
Alan Lawrence
Alan Lawrence
“When Wil was little, he would lie on his stomach and raise his arms and legs like he was flying. It wasn’t something any of my other kids did,” he said. “We all said, ‘Look, he’s flying!”
Lawrence’s photo series shows Wil “flying” through beautiful landscapes and everyday scenes.
View gallery
Alan Lawrence
Alan Lawrence
The overall goal of the program, Lawrence said, is to “raise awareness around Down syndrome.” The photos have proved so popular that the family wants to create a calendar of Wil’s photos and then donate half the proceeds to two Down syndrome foundations: Reece’s Rainbow, which supports adoption, and Ruby’s rainbow, which helps young adults with Down syndrome go to college. The family recently launched a Kickstarter campaign.
View gallery
Alan Lawrence
Alan Lawrence
 The family also hopes to take Wil’s show on the road. The Utah dad said that by photographing Wil in other destinations he could make the project last longer and hopefully raise more awareness. Wil's loved ones also hope to visit other families with children with Down syndrome to tell their stories.
View gallery
Alan Lawrence
Alan Lawrence
“Basically, we want to flood the Internet with this good message," he said. "I want to give other people new to this journey messages of joy and hope.”
Lawrence is also hoping to help people overseas who don’t have access to the same level of care and treatment through his YouTube channel. He’ll put up therapy tutorials and also video the family’s everyday life.
View gallery
Alan Lawrence
Alan Lawrence
“I see my other kids with Wil and they are so excited for this journey with him," he said. "He’s already taught us so much about compassion.”
View gallery
Alan Lawrence
Alan Lawrence
Plus, said Lawrence, Wil is like a “rock star” in their neighborhood.
Maybe that’s what Wil will be when he grows up. That is, if he’s not too busy flying.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Surprise! This Maryland prom proposal will make you smile

from MyFoxDC.com:
GLENELG, Md. - A Maryland girl surprised a boy at her school with a sweet prom proposal that was uploaded to YouTube

Cameras were rolling as James, who has Down syndrome, made his way to the gym at Glenelg High School in Howard County. 

As he walked inside, his classmates were gathered for the big moment. James made his way to the center of the basketball court when a girl named Maisy approached him with a sign-- and a question. 

Maisy asked James "Will you go to the prom with me?" It's a date because he said yes!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

21 things my son has taught me

Down syndrome: note of love to son 
Caroline Richardson, from Harrington Park, with her son Joshy, 8, who has Down syndrome. She would like to educate people about the condition. Picture: Robert pozo Source: News Corp Australia

by Vera Bertola from MacArthur Chronicle Campbelltown:
1: Every chromosome has two chromosomes. Trisomy 21: on every 21st chromosome it has a third chromosome.
2: No two people with Down syndrome are the same. They have their own personalities.
3. They are not always happy all the time. They can get very sad, angry and frustrated, just like you and I
4. It is very common for people with down syndrome to have a lot of medical conditions and problems. But not all. Joshy is one of the few who don’t have a heart condition, kidney problems or major bowel problems.
5. Developmentally people with Downs can be mild, mild to moderate, moderate to severe. Severe and so on. Joshy is severe. He wouldn’t be able to cope in a unit in a main stream school so he is in a special school.
6. People with Down syndrome can have dual diagnosis. As well as have Down syndrome, they can also have autism, defiance disorders, ADD, ADHD. The list can go on.

7. People with Down syndrome can work in jobs the same as anyone else. Some can drive cars.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

HK Profile: Frank Freeman - The Purest People photographer

Imagine feeling so inspired by the people you work with that it changes who you are, right down to your name. That’s what happened to Frank Freeman – née Frank Chun. The professional photographer has just launched the third in a series of exhibitions in his biggest project to date, The Purest People. His portraits capture 23 sparkling personalities all aged between 10 and 20. But these aren’t typical models. In fact, they all have Down’s Syndrome – a genetic disorder caused by an extra chromosome that affects roughly 3,000 people in Hong Kong. The condition is typically associated with physical growth delays and intellectual disability, which can lead to prejudice against people with the disorder. That’s something Freeman wants to rectify through the power of photography. He’s found, from working with the models, that they highlight the importance of honesty and truthfulness, ultimately prompting him to change his name. “After shooting the models, I changed my name,” he says. “Now I’m Frank Freeman.”

Sunday, March 8, 2015

ABLE: Positive change and a fighting chance

Just before Christmas of last year, President Barack Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, or ABLE, allowing people with disabilities to open tax-free accounts where they can save money without fear of losing government benefits.
As soon as the Treasury Department writes eligibility requirements, states will be responsible for establishing and managing the program, expected to begin accepting applications from people by the end of this year.
In Savannah, this means new doors could be opening for the thousands of people who struggle to find work because of a disability.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

LuMind Foundation and Research Down Syndrome Merge to Create Leading Source of Private Funding for Down Syndrome Cognition Research

LuMind Foundation and Research Down Syndrome have combined resources and programs. Together, these organizations contributed nearly $12 million to stimulate cognition research, resulting in the discovery of multiple drug targets and supporting the initiation of four clinical trials.
March 2, 2015 (Marlborough, Mass.) – The LuMind Foundation (formerly the Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation – DSRTF) and Research Down Syndrome (RDS), worldwide leaders in advancing Down syndrome cognition research, together announce consolidation of the two organizations. The new foundation will pursue their shared mission more effectively and efficiently, and leverage the tremendous progress each has made to ignite Down syndrome cognition discoveries.
The merged organization will be named LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation. The LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation will be led by a national board of directors, consisting of board members from both organizations. Ryan Hartman will continue from his position as LuMind Foundation Chairman of the Board and Dan Flatley, Research Down Syndrome founder and Chairman, will serve as Vice Chairman.