Haley is my little sister. She has been an inspiration to everyone I know. When she was born with Down syndrome no one in our family knew what to do. My mother quickly read every book and article she could find. She started Haley in speech therapy and physical therapy at six weeks old, which really paid off. You should see her sing and dance! She has been doing Special Olympics since she was little, but I think she really wanted to be the next American Idol. She graduated high school in 2010 then went off seven hours away to college. They have a program in Roswell at the college that takes about a hundred students a year for people with special needs. It wasn't easy, but she got in and graduated after three semesters with a food service license. She even worked at a few cafeterias.
She is amazing. So full of life and happiness. So innocent. Three days ago, out of nowhere, she was shopping and had a stroke. We are told this is not something that is related to Down syndrome. It is just something that though rare, can happen to young people. So now, at 22 years old, she is going to have to learn to walk and talk all over again. I couldn't do it. But that's what makes Haley so special. She is a little fireball! She has overcome so many challenges and won the hearts of so many people. I write this story to better deal with a stroke in a girl with Down syndrome. But I also write it to encourage new parents reading up on Down syndrome. It is a great challenge, but you will never know a greater love. These children are a blessing and love unconditionally. Thank you for reading Haley's story.