The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017
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James and I on Christmas when he was 20
James and I on Christmas when he was 20

I wish everyone had someone as inspirational as my baby brother in their life. At the age of 5 he beat cancer, relapsed and had to do it again at the age of 9 during which his heart stopped, he ended up in a week long coma and he lived through one of the worst graft vs. host cases on medical record. This was followed by years of medical issues; double phenomena, shingles, tuberculosis, viral meningitis, and a lifelong seizure condition from all of his treatment (just to name a few conditions). He spent his whole life isolated in our home because of what the cancer and treatment did to his immune system with his only friends being doctors, nurses, mom, dad and I. At 20 he was diagnosed with a terminal degenerative neuron disease, Advanced Neurocognitive Disease, cause by the cancer treatment he was given to save his life as a child and brought on early because of his Downs syndrome. At 20 he was told he had less than 2 years to live as his brain slowly dies but instead of wallowing in self-pity he wakes up every day full of unconditional love and hope. He has never once in his life complained, cried or wallowed in self-pity which is why he is the strongest person I know. Every day he inspires me and I am so incredibly lucky to have him as an example of how to be a better person.

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