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

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My Amazing Angel of a Sister, ToniAnne
My Amazing Angel of a Sister, ToniAnne

My sister Toni Anne is 30 years old and has Down syndrome. All my life, I have admired, adored, and cherished my sister Toni Anne. She is an angel and has blessed our family and home with unconditional love and happiness. Toni Anne has helped our family get through the toughest times and roughest hardships we have ever faced. She has taught us how to turn anger into joy, a frown into a smile, crying into laughter. Toni Anne is the center of our lives and any of our family members, at any time, would do anything for her. Toni Anne does not know she has Down syndrome and would probably laugh at us if we had ever tried to explain it to her. She is hysterical and has an unbelievable sense of humor. Her perception is beyond extraordinary. She senses the slightest change in any of our attitudes, emotions, or body language. We cannot hide our feelings from her even if we tried. When times get hard and we try to mask our feelings as to not upset Toni Anne, she sees right through our façade and runs to console us, assuring that everything will be just fine. As you read this, you may subconsciously be thinking “Ok, surely he is exaggerating and speaking so highly of his sister solely because she is family and has Down syndrome. No person can be so perfect.” I do not blame you for this as it is human nature. However, this is where I laugh (in a humorous way) and promise to you, she is an exemplary example of the perfect person. I guarantee within the first 10 seconds of meeting Toni Anne, she can put a smile on anyone’s face! Toni Anne lives a pretty normal life in a household full of family members. She spends most of her time with her buddy, our mother. Toni Anne and my wife also have an unbreakable bond and spend a lot of time together having fun and “checking out guys” (hopefully just Toni does the checking out!). She spends a lot of time with our aunt and cousins as well who are great with her. Toni Anne loves animals and we have 4 dogs that she takes care of. This is just a slight excerpt of Toni Anne’s magic (yes that’s the only way to describe it). She is beautiful. We love her and we know you would too!

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Sharee Dunagan, United States, VA
2/3/2014 9:00:22 PM
Awsome story. It would be so cool to meet her one day.sounds like i would get along with her really well as I love to laugh. Hugs to you and your adorable family. God bless!!

1/10/2014 1:32:49 PM
What a beautiful story, my sister is 46 years old and she is my ANGEL too, MY DOWN ANGEL, all you have wrote its truth, they are PERFECT, they have the biggest feelings, and we are so fortuned to have them in our lives. We live together and I love her so much that could give my life to her. She is a VERY SPECIALL PEOPLE, and GOD give her to us as a LOVE GIFT. They teach us the real and pure LOVE.

Eileen Borenstein, United States, PA
1/10/2014 10:10:56 AM
Delightful to meet Toni Ann through this story.

Teresa Cabrera, United States, NJ
1/7/2014 5:48:55 PM
I sure do understand the kind of love you are describing about your adorable sister because i myself have an angel in my life. Yes, my son Andy has Down Syndrome and he's 21 with the same characteristics of your sister, loving, happy, independent and an angel who only brings joy in anybody's life. Congratulations for loving her as you do

Diana Bell, United States, MT
1/6/2014 5:12:34 PM
I understand and agree with all you have said. My son is also 30. In 94 I lost a grandson and son 18 days apart. I don't know what I would have done if not for Matthew. He is the most perfect person I have ever met. I have always believed God put people like Mat and Toni Anne on this earth to teach the rest of us how to be human. To bad we don't listen. So I completely understand your feeling of awe.

Patsy Ballard, United States, TN
1/6/2014 1:47:10 PM
Frank's comment that his sister does not know she has Down Syndrome was such an enlightening statement. She does not place limits on herself and will only be hindered by those who assume she will never have a productive life. She is blessed to have a family who encourages her in every way and and sees her as the blessing she is.

Catherine Hodges, United States, KY
1/6/2014 11:44:34 AM
What a wonderful story! I have a grand daughter with Down Syndrome she is 8 mths old and already has brought so much joy to our lives...after reading your story, I cannot wait to see what God has planned for us with our Aubree Mae. God Bless you and your family, you are very Blessed!

Dolores Barfield, United States, NY
12/15/2013 2:58:30 AM
Everything Frank said in his story and true in addition to being very well written . The love in this household is truly wonderful . I wish that could be true of my family . I don't have a ToniAnne to help teach us how to appreciate life , to share and care for each other.

Janet Tredici, United States, NY
12/14/2013 7:11:29 AM
Tonianne is an amazing young lady.

Peggy boziotis, Greece,
12/12/2013 12:44:54 AM
Beautiful I know how unbelievable of a person Toni Anne is I to have a nephew with Down syndrome and he is our angel ! The most precious, tender, loving , caring person I could go on forever talking about my Thomas ! Best holidays to you all a year of love and caring to everyone!

jeannine Lacorte, United States, NY
12/11/2013 10:16:25 PM
My niece ToniAnn is a angel. You always ask the question why in life ,why did this happen or that , but there is a reason for everything. ToniAnn was sent to us to be our angel. She is so loving , caring if it wasn't for ToniAnn I really don't think I would of got through all my heartaches in life. Just a hug from her makes everything better. I love her so much. My son Anthony, Toniann cousin he loves her so much said it the best. If everyone was like Toniann the world would be a perfect place.

JoAnn Ambrosio, United States, NY
12/11/2013 9:59:46 PM
My name is JoAnn Ambrosio and I am the mother of this special "Angel" Toni Anne. On January 14 my special Angel will be 31 years old. She has brought me 31 years of unconditional love. If God came down to me an said you have a choice JoAnn to have a child without Down Syndrome make your choice now , I would say, my dear Lord Please don't change a thing. She is my heart, my soul, my life, and my reason for existence. Just a hug from Toni Anne makes everything right she helps makes you put life in the right perspective. Our family has gone through many hard time and I must say if it wasn't for ToniAnne and her brothers love for her and my love for them I would have never survived. I am blessed to have two Amazing children and because of ToniAnne my beautiful Son Frank grew up to be a kind, loving, compassionate, caring person with a heart of gold. Bless all of you who voted for ToniAnne.

Elizabeth McKinley, United States, NJ
12/11/2013 9:25:56 PM
This young lady,Toni Ann is my Beautiful niece! What a" Beautiful ' a nd "True"letter my nephew Frank wrote about his sister. Toni Ann was designed by GOD and sent into"OUR WORLD" and she has made our lives more beautiful. She has taught us love, patience and acceptance and I love her for it!

JeanAnn, United States, NY
12/11/2013 12:06:40 PM
Beautiful…Nothing like having a brother on your side to show you the way… You are both blessed having each other. God Bess..

Linda Bravato, United States, NY
12/11/2013 11:46:21 AM
I remember when Toni Anne was born and the sadness that was a part of finding out your baby has Down's Syndrome. However Toni Anne was a beautiful little girl and has grown up to bring so much joy to all around her. God gives us gifts that are sometimes not recognized right away for the blessings they truly are.

Rose Petito, United States, NY
12/11/2013 7:38:17 AM
this child really a women n if we had more of her sweetness n luv this world would b a better place GOD BLESS HER

Nicole LaCorte, United States, NY
12/10/2013 10:43:53 PM
Toni is not only my cousin, she's my side kick, my best friend, my sister. I'm beyond blessed to have such an amazing person in my life. Nobody can ever break the bond we have, there is nothing better then seeing a big smile on her face. She is the smartest person I know. Toni is the most loving person ever. She always manages to put a big smile on your face..... Even if you don't know her she will manage to turn your day around and put a smile on your face, and I guarantee that! There is nothing i wouldn't do for her. I'm thankful I have such an amazing cousin in my life to consider my sister! Love you always Toni!!!

patricia shutte, United States, NY
12/10/2013 4:45:23 PM
I, too, know Toni Anne. I worked many years ago with your dad and mom. And, I was thrilled to be invited to her "Sweet Sixteen" party given by her parents. She is truly an extraordinary young woman. This is a lovely story written by her loving brother that brought tears to my eyes, and I most certainly am proud to vote for her.

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