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"St. Thomas More student writes paper about St. Anthony student"
The Gift of Down Syndrome

The Gift of Down Syndrome
By: Jack Flaherty( 7th grade, St. Thomas More)

“As a gift from God, every human life is sacred from conception to natural death.” This is more than just a quote from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops, it’s what I believe. Why do some doctors ask women to abort their child if the child has Down Syndrome? Do they not think of the beauty and joy that is the life of one of the most precious things ever... childhood? I believe that all people with Down Syndrome are a beauty. They are truly art! I met my first person with Down Syndrome in Kindergarten. His name is Brent “Buddy” Hall. He and I have been best friends and loved each other like brothers for 8 years. My school, Saint Thomas More, has one of the coolest things I have ever seen. We call it the St. Anthony’s program, some of the kids there have Down Syndrome and others don’t but we love them all the same. And, they have many wonderful helpers. The Head Mrs. Young, Brent’s main helper Mrs. R. and many others. It’s like a big family Brent chose me to be apart of.

According to Mayo Clinic, “Down Syndrome is caused caused when a child still in the egg has a third copy of chromosome 21, instead of the normal two in every cell during the development in the sperm cell or egg.”

Down Syndrome is more common in older parents, and is not inherited. It also makes the child look and act different which some people are afraid of. According to National Down Syndrome Society about one in every 691 babies are born with Down Syndrome in the US, that’s about 6,000 babies a year. The life expectancy of people with Down Syndrome has risen dramatically from 25 years in 1983 to 60 years as of now. Since the lifespan of people with Down Syndrome has increased ,it gives them a chance to go to college. Education is now helping people with Down Syndrome get into schools, and even colleges. This gives them a chance to live a fun life, learn, and a chance to live like an adult. There is a family at my parish, the Farnans, they have many kids and the youngest one has Down Syndrome. She lights up the church with her smile, and energy and our church loves her. Unfortunately our society is now based on looks and usefulness. So kids with Down Syndrome are looked down upon as not being “useful” to society ,and not being “gorgeous” human beings. But there are people who love and care for them and treat them like human beings. Sure, they may not function like most but they function in a way that gives us a feeling of joy and love. They are willing to forgive us without hesitation and are like an image of Christ in their childlike innocence. So let them remind us of how we should live and be as children of Christ. And he said; "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3

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