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

National Down Syndrome Society
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Our Family's Special Gift
Finishing Strong : New York, New York!
Finishing Strong : New York, New York!
Our Family's Special Gift

This is a great story about my Aunt Cindy Murnane. She is 49 years old and my entire life has been surrounded by a special kind of love that only one with Down syndrome or a family member would know. She can rock out an amazing Frank Sinatra number - microphone, top-hat and meticulously memorize each and every word to New York, New York. She knows each and every birthday of her 28 nieces, nephews and her brothers and sister as well. She was very involved in Special Olympics most of her life, extra activities, has held three great jobs and was always a favorite with the customers. My Aunt Cindy gave me courage at a very young age to speak up for the silent voices. The slang term “retarded” will make any one of her nieces and nephews cringe and give super powers to take on the word one ignorant person at a time to educate them that it will not one day be tolerated in society. Cindy has been through a lot over the years, she’s lost both parents and moved from Illinois to Florida and back to Illinois and adjusted and adapted only to be found on top. Aunt Cindy has dreamt of one day driving, getting married and having children but knows that her life now is filled with so much love and that her special gift is to share with others. Cindy’s gift is to remind others to slow down, that’s her story. Life goes quickly and never one day in her 49 years of life has she ever quit or stopped because those dreams are still dreams, never once has she passed judgment on those that made fun of her and brought her to tears. I don’t have one specific story of Aunt Cindy, you see she’s so special and has done so much for so many others and has only asked to continue to be loved. Nothing more. So the next time you see someone with Down syndrome, say hello, give a high five, appreciate and try and absorb the special gift they have. Don’t shun them, don’t make excuses and keep advocating for all the Aunt Cindy’s in the world. Aunt Cindy’s story is one of compassion and love and pure-hearted truth to society and to those who surround her, don’t miss out.

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laura skalnik, United States, IL
1/11/2014 9:50:13 PM
Hello from Dave and myself. It would be good to talk to us also if standing by this. love in a good thing...]

Lindsay, United States, IL
3/25/2013 10:50:56 AM
I couldn't have asked for a better role model, friend, and godmother in my life! I don't know what I would do without this angel on earth. She always makes me feel better everyday and when I have had a bad day, no one can give me a head massage like Aunt Cindy!!! P.s. if you bowl against her, you will lose. :-)

Kyle Smith, United States, IL
3/22/2013 7:03:08 PM
Cindy has been great to me since the day I met her. She truley is a wonderful person with a great heart. She's my buddy and my second sister, go Cindy!

Amanda Tesmond, United States, IL
3/22/2013 1:31:25 AM
My aunt is the definition of compassion. We love her so much. Without her in our lives, we would of never known the sensitivity and love for people who aren't like everyone else, the depth we do now. My three sisters and I preformed with my aunt who has always been a star, on stage with dozens of other special needs adults. My aunt Cindy would always give 100% and even want to sign autographs. She has a love that is contagious for not only people but for animals as well. If more people in the world were like her, the world would genuinely be a better place.

Alicia Brozek, United States, IL
3/21/2013 10:27:50 PM
I have had the pleasure of meeting Cindy. Each and every time I see her, she always remembers my name, even if it's been years! Always happy, always smiling! Always a joy to talk to.

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