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Letting Go
Letting Go

Tom weighed just 3 pounds when he was born, and had so many medical issues, the doctors said "Just go home and forget you had a baby. If he lives, he will never be able to do anything, he is not likely to ever walk or talk." They kept him in the hospital for over nine months wanting to do "research" on him, and would not release him. Finally, I decided if he is going to die, it will be at home where he is loved, so I 'kidnapped' him and brought him home. It has not been easy, but the journey has been spectacular! Growing up presented so many challenges, but I had to sit back and let him make his own choices and decisions. The best gift you can give your child is to teach them to be as good as they can be. From the time Tom was very young, he said, "I can do it," whether he was learning to feed himself, tie his shoes, ride a bicycle, or whatever task he faced. Even the smallest accomplishment brought so much joy knowing he "had done it!" These little fulfillments brought him more and more confidence as he grew up. Today, Tom is a 44 year old young man with Down syndrome, who has a full time job, owns his own condo, is quite a good golfer, and has a great sense of humor. Each of these accomplishments is truly amazing. His perseverance and determination have brought him to where he is today. It would have been so much easier for him to just stay home and not have to go out into the world to work every day, but he absolutely loves his independence and is very proud of his career. I spent many sleepless nights wondering how he would ever manage, when he told me he wanted to live on his own. Today, he lives in his own condominium that is decorated quite nicely in his own style, does his own cooking and cleaning, and loves to entertain. Patience and love are the keys to "letting go" and "letting them grow." I feel Tom has a wonderful success story, and we are so thankful his life has progressed this way.

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Helen Black, United States, WA
11/23/2011 12:06:55 PM
Thank you Betty and Tom for sharing!

Pam neill, United States, TX
11/23/2011 11:54:06 AM
Our family is very proud of Tom and the courage Aunt Betty has shown. I love them both.

Cousin Mike, United States, CO
5/31/2011 9:39:58 PM
My Main Man Mr. Tom-a-la-tor, you are one sweet lookin', girl magnet, cowboy! Yeeeeeeeehaaaaaaa!!!!!

Mary Ann Badar, United States, MI
5/27/2011 5:07:31 PM
Tom has accomplished all that his Mom has described but as his 76 year old aunt I want to add what I particularly love about him. Not many people can still make me always laugh but, Tom does. He is a born comic, a gifted mimic and a true showman.

sue norris, United States, FL
5/23/2011 11:14:35 AM
I knew Tom and his family as a baby and sorry to say that I have lost touch over the years but reunited thanks to the internet and I just knew that he would be the best he could be with the loving family he has. Tom is very blessed to have ALL the love and support from his family.

misti ottersberg, United States, IA
5/12/2011 8:53:14 PM
very nice love it. he is an amazinmg guy and his family is amazing also.

Donnie Hanson, United States, FL
5/12/2011 7:49:14 PM
I've known Tom and his family since 2004. He, and they, are amazing.

Michael Duffield, United States, CA
5/12/2011 2:39:47 PM
Amazing fella... Amazing mom! XOXO

Eric A. Cichon, United States, AZ
5/12/2011 2:08:21 AM
Absolutely inspiring story!!!

Lisa D, United States, TX
5/11/2011 9:53:07 PM
Never underestimate a mothers love and a persons desire to achieve the "impossible". Tom and Betty are an inspitation.

V. Harder, United States, IA
5/11/2011 9:51:55 PM
Tom is my cousin and I am very proud of him. His Mom is very supportive and has given him the encouragement he needs to succeed.

Rosee Ross, United States, MN
5/11/2011 9:47:12 PM
To one of the greatest mums and sons in the world

Scotty Shanks-Bruemmer, United States, MN
5/11/2011 9:12:09 PM
I am very proud to be Tom's sister. He is an amazing, inspiring man. I have learned so much from him through the years - his patience, quick wit, and kindness are always present. His positive attitude is exemplary.

Joan Bohn, United States, UT
5/11/2011 4:21:08 PM
Tom is my nephew.

Kathleen Barry, United States, WA
5/11/2011 4:03:18 PM
My husband and I met Tom and his mother a few years ago. Tom is the first person with Down's that we had ever met and what a pleasure it is knowing him. He has a wonderful sense of humor, his favorite thing to do is entertaining people dressed as Elvis

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