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Life With Down Syndrome

Why You Are Here: By Ruben Rivas

When was the last time you were truly inspired? Whether it’s leaving a career in pursuit of a dream, or maybe the motivation to achieve a goal. Each person is inspired at some time in their life to improve themselves, make a change, or make a difference. My moment came a couple months back through a series of three inspiring events which ultimately resulted in the creation of this site.

My Daughter

Imagine sitting in a hospital room one day after the birth of your first child. Excited, proud, and full of love. A doctor comes into your room to look at your baby without stating why, then casually mentions that your child may have Down syndrome. 10 minutes later someone is in your room bombarding you with information about the condition as they wheel off your baby to take blood tests. ‘Overwhelming’ is an understatement and a week for lab results is a lifetime.

My daughter has Down syndrome. After initial feelings of fear and sadness, I quickly realized it was a blessing in disguise. She is my treasure, and though I had never imagined raising a child with Down syndrome I would have her no other way. The future will hold challenges for my family, but knowing my dedication to being the best Father I can be will help guide her to be the best person she can be. I repeat, being the best person she can be...it's all I can ask, and all that I want.

The Photo

Stare at this photo and say “You aren't capable...you can’t do anything...you're worthless.”

It's just a face, and some would never know that little Emily has Down syndrome. I am not an artist, I know nothing about photography, and have never met Emily, but somehow am moved by those bright eyes and adorable smile. Perhaps she reminds me of my own daughter, or maybe it’s a symbol representing Down syndrome, of how perfectly beautiful an individual can be whereas others only see the negatives. If you ask me, Emily looks beyond happy, so maybe we should all stop thinking about what limitations she will have, and start realizing her bright future will be full of endless possibilities.

The Quote

“90% of babies with Down syndrome are aborted.”- Rep. Richard Corcoran

Wow. One day I was researching articles online and ran across this comment from a House Floor Debate in 2011. I was in such denial that I started looking on other sites to verify the statistic because it just couldn’t be true. To my disbelief, it was mostly accurate. I thought of my daughter...what if she wasn't here? It was the most inconceivable idea to think that my baby would be gone if given to 90% of parents in this world.

Then it hit me. People just don’t know. If you knew my daughter, you would understand. If you had someone in your life that has Down syndrome, you would get it. People don't want to be judged on their appearance, what they do for a living, or where they came from so why do we continue to see those with special needs and believe they are worth less than anyone else? The answer is simple...they just don’t know.

Knowmefirst.com was created through these 3 inspirational events in my life. I hope to educate people about Down syndrome and advise the 90% or so out there to simply think a little more before making such a drastic decision for abortion. I am not here to force a message of Pro-Life, but ask everyone to open their hearts and minds to learning the positive side of Down syndrome. It’s time to stop assuming you know, and discover the unknown truths from those who actually do know. I promise you, you will be inspired in more ways than you think, and it starts here. Thank you for visiting this site.

Emily

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