A Life Worth Living

Columnist : Matthew Wagner

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We recently asked for stories from people who have been blessed to have individuals with Down syndrome in their lives. Here are three of the responses we’ve received.


“I have known and loved several people with Down syndrome. I am a retired job coach and now these people are my dear friends. They are fantastic, loving people who could teach us all about being good people. As a job coach, I learned that these people are diligent and conscientious about their work and always want to please; they are kind, caring, and very loving. I consider the earth a better place because of these people. People who do not understand the love that Down syndrome people share with us have really missed out on a wonderful experience and fabulous people who have very much to offer. I have a Masters Degree in Biophysics and I have always loved doing research. However, God led me to working with disabled people. I thank God for this opportunity and I feel blessed having known and loved these wonderful people.”


“When my brother Paul was born in 1969, someone looking at all the babies in the nursery noticed the sign on his bassinet: Golden Boy. Golden was his last name. The onlooker, noticing his blond hair, said, ‘What a perfect name!’ And it was a perfect name. As he grew from infancy into childhood he was a sunny child, happy to be with his parents and his brothers and sisters, full of life and fun.

Paul is a special human being. He has Down syndrome.

Soon after Paul was born my father said he loved all his children but Paul needed extra love. We all loved Paul in a special way but Dad loved him in a way that was unique and very meaningful to Paul. Dad died when Paul was 31, creating a void in Paul’s life that no one could fill. He mourned for years reminding his brothers and sisters, ‘My Dad died.’ As if we didn’t know Dad. And, in a way, none of us knew Dad the way he did. For Paul Dad was always present, encouraging and fun…

All his life Paul has loved attention from young ladies. He will greet strangers on the street saying, ‘Hi, girls!’ Often these strangers are kind enough to say hello to him but others just ignore him, not knowing how to react to this unexpected greeting.

Life is full of unexpected greetings, sometimes from people with Down syndrome. We just have to open our hearts and our minds to the simplicity, kindness and love our brothers and sisters with Down syndrome offer us. Paul is a special person in our lives. Every person with Down syndrome is special.”


“Thank you SO much for taking up this cause. My daughter Brooke has Down syndrome and is a very active self advocate in Centre County. She sings the National Anthem at Penn State University and has been invited to do a Power Point presentation on her life at the School of Communications at Penn State. She holds a State Championship title for Therapeutic Horseback riding in 4H and currently volunteers for three jobs in the community. Her latest accomplishment is our recently published children’s book about the fear of failure and how she turned her weakness into a strength. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help with this worthy cause! For more detailed information on Brooke see our website at http://www.21tomorrows.org/run-rikki-run.”

These stories are a great reminder of how a life with Down syndrome is #alifeworthliving. If you have a similar story of living with someone with Down syndrome, please consider sharing it by contacting us at [email protected].