Our purpose now? ALL children are limitless.
Eight years ago, we had no idea that March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day. We had no idea what to expect while expecting a baby with Down syndrome. We had no idea what challenges she – and our whole family – would face.
We did know she had a heart defect that would require open heart surgery. We were told she’d most likely have other challenges – medical and developmental. And we knew we’d face all of it as a family.
Now, eight years later, we know much, much more. We know our daughter Lila is a fighter. She’s determined. She works hard. And she is much more than her diagnosis of Down syndrome. She is a happy, energetic child who loves the typical things all children do – playgrounds, bubbles, music, books, painting, mountains, Disney World and babies. And she also loves making friends, playing and learning with and from other children, and being involved in what’s happening in her school and community. And she deserves all those things too.
This year, in honor of World Down Syndrome Day on March 21, we’re doing more: More for our Lila, more for other children who learn differently, and eventually more for other children who need added resources or support to reach their full potential.
We’re launching an effort that was born in our hearts the moment we chose to believe our little girl was more than the myths and misperceptions associated with her diagnosis. Early on, we decided our Lila was limitless – as long as we loved, supported and challenged her.
She’s certainly risen to the challenges she’s faced, but we’ve found that others around us are often less likely to see past her diagnosis. The actual systems and services intended to help her actually limit her.
Services and acceptance for those with disabilities have come so far, even in my lifetime. But our journey has proven that there is still a great distance to go before all children have access to quality resources and education, let alone the simple belief that they can have and accomplish big dreams.
Stories of coffee shops and other ventures that employ those with intellectual disabilities are making the news these days. Sadly, most of those opportunities and success stories are created by parents with the desire and resources to make it happen.
Our hope is that when Lila completes school, those stories are no longer news but commonplace, expected, typical in all communities.
This year, for World Down Syndrome Day, we’re launching Limitless Purpose – a movement that, for now, calls attention to the fact that there is still much more work to be done to ensure acceptance and inclusion for every child. Our experiences alone in securing the education Lila is entitled to by federal law clearly demonstrates that changes are still needed.
The inspiration for this project is our own Limitless Lila – a strong, smart, capable little girl who can accomplish big things and dream big dreams.
Our own dream as her parents? That she has the opportunity to be included, to learn and grow, and to become all she is capable of, giving back to her community and the world by sharing her own story to help others who may need a little more help or more time themselves.
We believe – and have seen through Lila – that ALL children are limitless. And we know that’s a message – and a purpose – worth sharing. Become a part of Limitless Purpose today! Sign up for our newsletter, shop and support our mission, or schedule a presentation.