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.
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