Thursday, September 24, 2009

Will My Child Drive a Car??....Possibly, Check This Out!!

Thank you to Mel for posting this on your blog so I could "meet" Kelly, a very inspiring young woman with Down syndrome. Kelly is an amazingly determined young woman who has not allowed Down syndrome to hold her back in any way, in fact she has made a point to set many goals for herself...one of them being to get her driver's license, and SHE DID IT, how great is that!?!!!

When Reid was first born the question of "Will Reid be able to drive?" never even entered into my thoughts...not on my own that is....however, I can vividly remember our first visit with the geneticist when Reid was JUST 2 DAYS OLD...and she asked us what we knew about Down syndrome. Quite honestly we had to share that we didn't know much...so she went on to give us the clinical description and expectations...as I sat listening, trying to hold back the flood of tears waiting to dispel uncontrollably at any moment...the trigger words were unleashed, and as if being kicked in the stomach I heard her say..."and Reid won't drive a car...he will most likely use bus transportation, or ride a bike, or he will rely on a family member to drive him places". That was it, I fell apart...I had just heard that my child would have mild to moderate mental retardation and now...that he wouldn't ever have the capability to drive a car. Ughhhhh....really now, did I really need to hear that when he was just 2 days old? I remember going back to my hospital room, clutching my pillow and just crying and crying until I couldn't cry anymore. Later that evening I spoke with my dad on the phone and shared with him what the geneticist had said and he in turn had a story to share with me that he had heard earlier that day from a client of his...a story of a couple with Down syndrome living in his area who had met, married, had jobs, and the husband actually had his driver's license and HE drove the two of them around town...no buses and no bikes, unless they wanted to use them.

Where oh where are THOSE kinds of stories that a geneticist can pull out of his/her bag of knowledge when your baby is only 2 days old and you need more than anything to hear words of encouragement??? Well...here is one of those such stories...Kelly thank you for sharing with us your amazing victories and inspiring life!

**Make sure to pause my music at the bottom before viewing the video. :)



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13 comments:

Judy said...

Cheri~ That's just what I needed, thank you! What an inspiring story and I love how Kelly's mother responded when asked if she's proud of Kelly ;) She said she was, but then she's proud of all her children!

Hector and Jennifer Varanini Sanchez said...

I LOVE this video. It gives me such hope!! Thank you also for your comment on my blog. You are one of my biggest cheerleaders and I feel like you are my "big sis" when it comes to the DS family....even though I'm probably older than you :)!! But with you and Reid leading the way, I feel like you are paving the path for Joaquin and me!!

Heidi said...

What an amazing story! You are so right in saying that these are the types of stories that the doctors should be sharing with parents.

Thanks for sharing!

Monica Crumley said...

I so agree with you. We got way too much information when John Michael was a newborn. That alone was enough to make me sad for him and for us. I quickly turned away from clinical info and sought out positive stories, like those in Gifts. That's what I needed to hear. At the NDSC Convention in SActo, a man w/ Ds named Lee, when to college and drives a car. I also agree w/ Jennifer, it's nice to have other moms to turn to whose kids are a little further ahead than ours and we remain hopeful and encouraged.

Nan P. said...

Reading your post (I was almost crying with you) re-inforced my view that the "professionals" still have a lot to learn on HOW to tell parents about their child having DS (or any other syndrome or condition), and HOW MUCH to tell in the very early days. Information is crucial, of course, but not everyone wants to hear the same things, or is able to hear the same things. Negativity is the worst message that can be presented.

Cheri said...

I agree Nan, after I heard what she said about driving the car I told her I needed to take a break. I told her I felt I had enough information to get me through at least the first month...I resolved right then and there that I did not want to know anymore about Down syndrome...I wanted to know my son first and foremost, so Toby and I decided not to do any research for a bit, until we were ready for it.

thedickinsonfamily said...

Thanks for sharing!
What an amazing young woman we can ALL learn from. She is such an encouragement just like you.
Thanks for your support with M & M.
I still have so much to learn.
Blessings,
Meghan

Kele said...

Cheri, I always get emotional when anyone recants their first moments of finding out their child having Ds, I guess because I remember those hours so vividly myself. I remembered talking to MY father about things that I was reading online, or statistics, and he said to me "Why would you take the word of people who don't even know Presley, when it comes to what she will be able to do, or won't be able to do? Why not let Presley show you?"
That was profound, I have never forgotten it, and I never will!
Thank you so much for sharing this!

Mel said...

Isn't she great? I am so encouraged by her. Are you in California? I see there's a Downsed conference coming up there and thought you might be interested. Mel :)

Cheri said...

Hi Mel...yes, and yes... :) I will be going and looking so forward to it..especially because we were not able to make the Ds convention in Sacramento in early August.

Carrie said...

I found your blog from the "i did it" facebook page--what cute kiddos you have! I was just wondering about this the other day w/ my hubby--glad to know that driving a car is totally up to Miss Banana, and if she wants to or not. :) Isn't it amazing what our kiddos can due inspite of what the so called "experts" say??

Addie-tude-GO CARDINALS said...

What a great video clip. I love that her dr. told the parents to push her and just get on with it. That is right--none of us ever know what we can do if we don't push ourselves and try. Reid will be an amazing adult because he has his family. <3

Leticia said...

Very inspiring video for a mom of a seven year old young lady with a very similar can-do attitude.