"Just be who you are and show people who you are." - Megan Bomgaars
Reported by Mico Coluccio
March 21st is a special day. Not just because it is the third weekend in March, but it is also observed as National World Down Syndrome Day. On this day, we recognize those who are affected by the chromosomal disorder. Individuals with the disorder have various forms of cognitive impairment and developmental disabilities.
This special day has been honored since December 19th, 2011, as the United States General Assembly recognized its significance. It has been dignified every year since on March21st, symbolizing the unique characteristic of the triple 21st chromosome that causes Down syndrome, also known as trisomy.
The goal of this day is to raise public awareness of the disorder and share the stories ofthe courageous people who deal with the disease first hand. One vibrant individual is Megan Bomgaars, who is a self-advocate of Down Syndrome and a rising entrepreneur. On August13th, 2013, Everyone Matters uploaded a YouTube video entitled "Don't Limit Me!", in whichMegan advocated her personal experience with the disorder and how she does not let it define her.
She goes on to speak of her achievements, as she was the first cheerleader with downsyndrome to be apart of the cheerleading team in high school in the state of Colorado. Her teamwent from state to nationals, where they won the National Sportsmanship Award in Washington,D.C. The video of Megan went viral, gaining a cumulative 600,000 views. Since then, Megan has been working as a fashion model and public speaker, co-starring on the critically acclaimed television show "Born This Way" on A&E.;
Another person who has had a tremendous impact on the community is baby Eli or the"littlest warrior." Eli's mother, Michelle Silverman, founded the clothing line "The LittlestWarrior," as a means to mark what he is going through in his life.
Michele discovered her baby had Down Syndrome at her 20-week ultrasound, where they were told that he had fluid in his brain, a complete AV canal defect in his heart, and his intestines were blocked, which all three are common signs of the disorder.
As a mother, Michele wants her son to be included with other children with disabilities,not just those limited to Down Syndrome. Her brand fights for the inclusion of all, and to help speak for those who can't.
Michele has even gone as far as giving back 10% of her earnings to her community. Whether it is a family in need, assisting with medical bills, adopting a child with special needs,or even donating to a local foundation, Michele has given back to promote wellness for all.
Each person affiliated with Down Syndrome is affected differently. March 21st is the day in which we recognize those special little warriors as they inspire us to keep fighting on.
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Eli's Story: https://youtu.be/LLJG-U1cZAo