‘I am a man with Down Syndrome and my life is worth living’

November 4, 2017

BRIGHTER WORLD: “We are giving the world a chance about the ethics of choosing which humans get a chance. So we are helping to fight cancer and Alzheimer’s and we make the world a happier place. Is there really no place for us in the world?” – Actor, Special Olympian and Quincy Jones advocate for Down Syndrome people Frank Stephens. Picture courtesy of You Tube.

 

 

 

A SPECIAL Olympian who suffers from Down Syndrome has made an emotional speech declaring his right to exist as a person.

Frank Stephens is a spokesman for the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, a Special Olympian and gave a speech to a Congressional committee in Washington DC about his life experience and the importance of people with Down Syndrome in science and research and was in the US capital to speak about federal funding for this

‘Working with Down’s sufferers impacted me’

What does this have to do with relevance to our immediate communities? Well there are adults within our villages and towns who live with the condition and have amazing personalities – I should know as I worked with two of them in the public sector for four years and they made a huge impression on me.

My experience of working alongside both Dawn and Harold (not their real names) in Dorset is that they wanted to be treated like everyone else and their physical differences not emphasized, and this conflicts with their wishes to just treated like everyone else. Legislation does protect them from discrimination in the workplace, which is correct, but those who work with them sometimes give the impression they need to be treated like children, as opposed to adults.

‘It is hard for me to hear those words’

Frank said: “No one knows more about life with Down Syndrome than I do. I am a man with Down Syndrome and my life is worth living. Sadly across the world, a notion is being sold that we don’t need research concerning Down Syndrome.

“Some people say that pre-natal screens will identify Down’s Syndrome in the womb and those pregnancies will just be terminated. It is hard for me to sit here and say those words.

“I completely understand that the people pushing this particular ‘final solution’ are saying that people like me should not exist. Seriously I have a great life. I have lectured at universities and have been to the White House twice and I didn’t have to jump the fence either time.

Frank cited a study conducted by Harvard University that found that Down Syndrome people and their families too are happier than society at large.

‘Down’s sufferers make world happier place’

He said: “Surely happiness is worth something? Finally we are the canary in the eugenics coal mine. We are giving the world a chance about the ethics of choosing which humans get a chance. So we are helping to fight cancer and Alzheimer’s and we make the world a happier place. Is there really no place for us in the world?

Frank said that research into Alzheimer’s Disease was important to him as it would eventually catch up with him and his own mother was fighting the disease.

Think of those you love and fund this research’

“On a deeply personal note, I can’t tell you how much it means to me that my extra chromosome might lead to the answer to Alzheimer’s (Disease). It is likely that one day this thief will steal my memories – my very life from me. It has already begun to steal my Mom from me. Please think about all the people you love – the way I love my mom. Help us make this difference – if not for me and my mom then for you and the ones you love. Let’s fund this research. Let’s make our goal to be Alzheimer’s free, not Down Syndrome free.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

BK - DSCW November 12, 2017 at 6:22 pm

I know a couple of people with ds and, unlike some politicians, they don’t need to be briefed before they say what they think. Thanks for making your point Mr Stephens.

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