Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 22 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Maurice and the Theban Legion

The Inspiring Trailblazer Who Just Happened to Have Down Syndrome

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 03/21/16

Today marks World Down Syndrome Day. At a moment when more children with Down Syndrome are being lost to abortion—by one estimate, it’s more than 90%—it’s worth honoring and remembering the gifts they bring to our world.

From The Washington Post: 

Laura Lee took pride in her résumé. On it, separated by bold lettering and bullet points, she listed one achievement after another: She graduated from George Mason University. She worked at the World Bank. She volunteered at a food bank. She spoke at national conventions. Not mentioned: She was born with Down syndrome. For the 400,000 Americans like her who are often characterized by their limitations, Lee changed what they and their families viewed as possible. She was the first person with Down syndrome many people saw participate on panels. Or go to college. Or work in a professional setting. At the World Bank, where she was an office assistant earning $12.24 an hour, her name was on her office door. If the cruelest part of Down syndrome comes from the walls it erects, the ultimate joy for many people in the intellectual-disabilities community came in watching Lee leap over those walls, time and again. In many ways, she seemed unstoppable — until she wasn’t. Lee usually awoke and got dressed on her own. So when she wasn’t up on the morning of Feb. 24, and it looked like she might miss a scheduled art class, her mother went to her bedroom in their Northern Virginia home to check on her. There, she discovered that her daughter had died in her sleep at age 33. Her heart had stopped. “It was a shock,” said Lee’s mother, Stephanie Lee. The day before, “she did Pilates and volunteered at the food bank and went to Giant to get that sushi she liked.” The death has left not only her family mourning, but also thousands of people across the country, some who knew Lee and others who simply admired her as a trailblazer.

Read more. 

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon her … 

Meantime, there’s this beautiful story about a group of nun with Down Syndrome.

Photo: WUSA TV

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
2
ARGENTINE CHILDREN
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
3
RESURRECTION
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
4
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
5
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
6
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
7
PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
See More