On World Down Syndrome Day, we’re called to consider the lives of those among us with that special extra chromosome. This celebration also makes us question how we can help to make the lives of those with Down syndrome as fulfilling as possible.
One way of doing this is to take a look at the example of some who’ve managed to achieve great things, despite society not always making it easy. Here are just a few stories over the past year where people with Down syndrome have inspired us.
Standing up to bullies
A young girl from North Macedonia experienced bullying at school for having Down syndrome. In fact, the parents of pupils at her school singled her out and demanded she be separated from her fellow classmates.
Thankfully, President Stevo Pendarovski responded by escorting the 11-year-old to school, and showed his fellow countrymen and women that this sort of bullying is unacceptable.
While Pendarovski deserved all the praise he received for taking such a stand, the little girl also showed such bravery for confronting her bullies and going back to school.
Showing off acting skills
This last year has seen two notable stories where actors with Down syndrome have taken center stage and given some exciting performances.
Hallmark introduced lead actor Lily D. Moore to play in Color My World With Love. The story talks of a young artist with Down syndrome who has to face a number of obstacles while finding love and happiness.
Thanks to the wide reach of Hallmark films, through her acting Moore was able to show millions of people some of the daily challenges of those with Down syndrome, as well as bringing a level of identification with those who are neurodivergent.
Another actor with Down syndrome recently made the news for being the first actor with Down syndrome to win an Oscar.
James Martin, from Northern Ireland, took center stage to receive the coveted statuette wearing a rather dapper leopard print jacket. The smile on his face as he won the award on his birthday showed just how capable the 31-year-old actor is.
The doting uncle
One of the most adorable videos that popped up on social media was of a baby girl with Down syndrome meeting her Uncle Joseph, who also has Down syndrome.
The sheer love shared between the two was a very important reminder of just how precious all life is.