Every year since 2011, the World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated on March 21st. Today, we honor every amazing human that was born with this genetic disorder that affects approximately 1 in 691 live births only in the US and continues to move forward to end the stigma by proving they are more than their illness. All of the individuals listed in this article have done remarkable things in their own way and it is important for us to know their names and their actions.
- Noelia Garella, Argentina
Noelia is 31 years old and since 2012, she has been working as a preschool teacher in Córdoba, Argentina. She became one of the only people in the world with Down Syndrome to teach, and only the first in Latin America. Although the director of a day care center once called her a “monster” when she was a child, she always wanted to be a teacher, and now her pupils feel nothing but love for her.
2. Jamie Brewer, California
Jamie is 32 years old and she is best known for her work as an actress in FX’s hit show American Horror Story, where she portrayed the complex characters of Adelaide in Season 1, Nan in Season 3 and Marjorie in Season 4. In 2015 she became the first woman with Down Syndrome to walk the red carpet at New York Fashion Week.
“Young girls and even young women … [see me] and say ‘hey, if she can do it so can I,’” she told Today. “It’s a true inspiration being a role model for any young women to [encourage them] in being who they are and showing who they are.”
3. Ángela Bachiller, Spain
Ángela sworn in on July 29, 2013 and turned into the first councilwoman with Down Syndrome. She is a member of the Popular Party and took possession of her office after working as an administrative assistant. As El País reported, the head of the Socialist Group in Valladolid City Council also known as Óscar Puente said “We see this as something perfectly normal, let’s hope that it encourages other people in her situation to play a bigger role in society.”
4. ZhouZhou, China
ZhouZhou A.K.A. Hu Yizhou was born in 1978 to a cellist family, and he has always enjoyed classical music. In the late 1990s, a student was making a documentary about the local orchestra when he noticed the man mimicking the conductor’s exact same movements during rehearsals. After becoming local news, ZhouZhou got to conduct China’s National Symphony Orchestra and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra a year later. He might be the only conductor in the world who cannot read music and there was a movie made about him which trailer you can watch here.
5. Madison Tevlin, Canada
Madison went viral at 12 years old when she uploaded a cover of John Legend’s song All Of Me on Youtube. As the video says, according to the Down Syndrome Education International “Very few people with Down Syndrome will ever be able to sing”. The video was initially intented for only family and friends to see, but it has now has over 8 million views online and it contains some great words that encourage everyone to finally end the stigma.