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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Our Story
Our Story

It all began May 11, 1987, when Bridget Anne Bailey was born. From that day on a bond began that would last forever. Her first stop, on her way home from the hospital, was to her Great Grammie’s house. Gram hugged her, saying “God has a special plan for our little angel.” Not knowing the long road Bridget had ahead, we took her home to begin God’s plan. We found out fairly early that Bridget had a heart defect, for which she had five operations before Dr. Brandt was able to send her home with a healthier heart. Great Gram was there every step of the way, knowing Bridget would be all right.

What an example Bridget was for everyone she met. Bridget began school at an early age to develop her fine and gross motor skills, along with her speech, so that she would be ready for kindergarten. Bridget loved school, had lots of friends to help her and Great Gram was there giving her advice along the way. When Bridget was in first grade, the American Heart Association honored her. Her surgeons, Dr. Brandt and Dr. Smith, were there to congratulate her. There too, was Gram with tears in her eyes as Bridget walked up with her Dad to accept her award.

Bridget went to her proms with her best friend John. Grammie came to see how beautiful she looked and to wish her a fun time. Graduation came in June of 2006. Her whole family was so proud of her but no one was more proud than Gram. As she walked across the stage as a member of the West Genesee Class of 2006, we all cheered- Gram right there too!

Bridget has been a very active member of the community! She has been an altar server and volunteers at Holy Family Church, volunteer at Samaratin Center, American Heart Association, Red Cross and Special Olympics. She is a Special Olympic member of soccer, swimming, floor hockey, and track. She has earned many medals and ribbons. Often Gram would get a call getting results of how Bridget did that day. As Gram got older one day she fell and broke both her ankles. Bridget would go and stay at her house to keep her company, as Gram got better.

There was a big celebration when Gram turned 100. Everyone came, even Senator DeFransico. Who was there to help blow out the candles? Bridget.

Now it’s 2013, Bridget is 26 and Great Gram is 101. Every Wednesday Bridget and Gram go out for lunch. Gram was right – Bridget has much to offer to so many people she has met and is a true example to others. Gram has been the backbone of our family. Their companionship has been unending. They have an everlasting love for one another. God has truly given our family two gifts… Bridget and Great Gram.

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Comments (1,000 character limit)

Diane Mejias, United States, NY
8/16/2017 7:45:40 PM
Beautiful family story.

elizabeth, United States, OH
10/21/2013 3:22:10 PM
what an amazing story. it touched my heart when I read it. my 8 year old daughter also has down syndrome that is why I subscribe to this newsletter. good luck to both bridget and great gram.

Beth Burk, United States, VA
10/1/2013 12:56:34 PM
Loved the story!

Susan Capuano, United States, VA
10/1/2013 11:53:21 AM
It is touching to see how love transcends all barriers between gram and the young lady who has Down syndrome. I sure wish my mother could have developed such a bond with my son who also has Down syndrome. Love is what gives us the will to go on when life's challenges discourage our will to live.

martha burchett, United States, KY
9/4/2013 3:18:19 PM
Way to go Bridget. You and your Great Gram are very special people. Keep enjoying everyday to the fullest and making everyone smile. God Bless!!!!!!!

Justina Wilkie, United States, NY
8/28/2013 3:41:28 PM
I was in school with Bridget, and a few musicals as well. Unfortunately I never got the pleasure of getting to know her on a personal level, an opportunity I greatly regret missing out on. All I know is was that she was a wonderful person to be around, made friends with a simple smile, and that she gave her all at everything. Go Bridget!

Karen Piccioni, United States, NY
8/18/2013 11:50:02 PM
Wow, a truly inspiring story for all generations. Love has a way of closing the generation gap!

Holly Mulroy, United States, NY
8/16/2013 11:20:53 PM
What a wonderful story!!!

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