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

National Down Syndrome Society
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New York New York 10017
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Ty has been full of surprises since he was the size of a grain of rice. At my first doctor's appointment, I was told that I was nearly 12 weeks along in my pregnancy. As I lay on the table, the doctor tried and tried again to locate his heartbeat unsuccessfully. Finally, we were sent for an ultrasound. Nervously, I stared at the monitor and watched in amazement as my baby flickered across the screen. He was a whopping 8 millimeters long, and to everyone's surprise, only 6 weeks gestation! My pregnancy was put into rewind! 5 weeks later, I arrived for my actual 3-month check-up. Once again, I lay on the examining table, anxiously waiting to finally hear my baby's heartbeat and once again, nothing. This time, I was scared. Our doctor moved us to the ultrasound room, as I prayed that the little life inside of me was okay. After what seemed like an eternity, Ty popped up on the screen, wildly kicking his legs and waving his arms at us. The little bugger had been hiding all along! He had only been in existence for a matter of weeks, and already he had tricked his parents twice! As my pregnancy progressed, more concerns arose. From 20 weeks on, we were faced with words like "ventricular septal defect", "chylothorax", "craniosynostosis", and "chromosomal abnormality". My baby was scanned from every angle once a week, and analyzed by various doctors. He truly was a mystery to everyone. We were told to prepare for multiple surgeries, a "blue baby" at birth, and an extended stay in the NICU. No one knew what was wrong with him, but they were convinced that it would be serious. The moment Ty made his entrance into the world, he once again began to stun everyone that he met. He arrived kicking and screaming, like he was so excited to finally be able to stretch. After much examination, Ty's apgar scores were 7 and 9. Best of all, he was healthy and didn't need any medical interventions. We were amazed. Ty's greatest surprise of all though, was revealed shortly after his birth - Down syndrome. I can't remember our exact reaction to hearing the news, but I remember thinking, "Okay, but he's healthy?!" Down syndrome was something familiar, something I could actually pronounce. A little something extra in his chromosomal repertoire was something that we could handle. Nearly a year later, Ty continues to surprise and amaze us every day. He sneaks large, wet kisses on our cheeks when we're not looking; and he creeps up on the dogs to feel their fur. He bursts out with deep belly laughs when I kiss his neck, and pops his head up from his crib to flash a huge smile when I think he's fast asleep. He has already given us more than we could have ever dreamed of. Everyone loves a good surprise, and we are fortunate enough to have one that will last us a lifetime!

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Comments (1,000 character limit)

Eddie Vargas, United States, MA
2/14/2011 5:17:00 PM
I loved your story, many more surprises to come, May God bless you and your family!

Jim Mundy, United States, AL
1/5/2012 1:21:59 AM
It really is a great story! Thank you so much for sharing. Downs children are able to do much more than surprise us; they in fact delight us.

Cara Conner, United States, IN
1/5/2012 4:04:22 AM
Such an inspiring story.

Heather Fowee, United States, KY
1/5/2012 8:11:10 AM
It seems as though Cyndi's advocating for her daughter was as much a blessing in this story as was Rebecca's accomplishment. Bless them both. What a sweet, wonderful tale :)

James Fowee, United States, KY
1/5/2012 8:30:32 AM
Inspiring. As a parent of 4 daughters, I love the passion that exudes from any girls who take dance even if they don't possess the "natural" talents. Creativity is what needs to be encouraged and I applaud the courage to be persistent for your daught

David Weigand, United States, IN
1/5/2012 9:48:02 AM
It it chokes you up, it has to be a winning story!

Jennifer Bass, United States, IN
1/5/2012 10:18:36 AM
Rebecca is obviously the 'teacher' in this experience! Thank you for sharing, and I love the picture!

Pat Lacy, United States, IN
1/5/2012 10:39:11 AM
Music, dance and art can change the world. Thank you Cyndi for being a strong advocate for your very creative daughter.

Jenny Smith, United States, IN
1/5/2012 10:41:43 AM
Beautiful! It's wonderful when others can see what lies beyond the book's cover, isn't it? And oh, what we can find when we open our mind instead of just our eyes.

Michelle Clark, United States, IN
1/5/2012 11:04:02 AM
A beautiful story about a beautiful little ballerina! Thank you for your diligence, Cyndi. Hopefully you have paved the way for future dance students at this studio and they will receive a warm welcome right from the start.

Rachel Platter, United States, IN
1/5/2012 11:34:43 AM
Great story Cyndi.

Lois Hougland, United States, IN
1/5/2012 11:48:12 AM
What a great story about a precious child!! Thank God we are all not alike!!

Jill Ginn, United States, IN
1/5/2012 2:16:36 PM
Lovely story!

Amanda Shaw, United States, IN
1/5/2012 2:49:03 PM
How we underestimate ourselves and how these little ones can teach us volumes about life. Thank you, Rebecca!!

Lora Makemson, United States, IN
1/5/2012 2:56:02 PM
Rebecca aleways amazes us with her dance and yoga moves - loved the part about her shoes!

Valeria DeCastro, United States, IN
1/5/2012 7:49:29 PM
Beautiful! It is a great emotion to be part of Rebecca's life. Thank you for the sharing!

Anna Weigand, United States, IN
1/6/2012 9:50:21 AM
One of my favorite things about Rebecca (and there are so many things!) is her determination and willingness to try just about anything. Clearly that comes from her steadfast and positive mother. :)

Ron Robertson, United States, IN
1/6/2012 10:37:23 AM
I am the very proud grandfather of Rebecca. I believe that Rebecca is wonderful example of the doors that can be opened and the hearts that can be opened when Down Syndrome children are given opportunities and support by their parents, organizations like

Kerry Bonney, United States, IN
1/6/2012 1:11:23 PM
What a heartwarming story! If given a chance, gifted children such as Rebecca can transform attitudes and stereotypes.

Abbie Lin, United States, VA
1/6/2012 2:18:30 PM
Beautifully simple and simply beautiful. A great reminder that we need to think of people with DS as different, not lesser (and even "different" isn't all that fair, because there is much that the "average" person can find in common with someone with

Ann Johnson, United States, IN
1/6/2012 3:09:17 PM
So wonderful to hear a success story and a little girl\'s love of dance. Bravo, Rebecca.

Rosalie Founds, United States, IN
1/6/2012 3:21:16 PM
Way to go, Rebecca! What a great illustration of what our special kids can accomplish!

Wendi G, United States, IN
1/6/2012 4:29:14 PM
Never underestimate the gifts of ANY child!

Missy Shahadey, United States, IN
1/6/2012 4:49:43 PM
Rebecca, you are amazing! Great job!

Gina Lovell, United States, IN
1/6/2012 5:43:25 PM
Way to go Rebecca!!

Monica Blouin, United States, IN
1/6/2012 6:45:49 PM
Great story!

Kathleen Boggess, United States, IN
1/6/2012 10:07:32 PM
Rebecca is a precious little girl with determination and courage. She will go far and touch the hearts of many.

Susan Johnson, United States, OR
1/7/2012 2:22:05 AM
Lovely story, lovely child. She's mighty determined!

Kristine K Stewart, United States, IN
1/7/2012 6:27:00 AM
Wonderful story and wonderful little girl!

Karla De, United States, IN
1/7/2012 11:01:56 AM
You show them, Rebecca!!!! I might be biased, but Rebecca has the best form. :) Let us know when the next recital is. I would love to see it! :)

Cheri Holland, United States, CA
182012 2:47:12 AM
So fabulous - when we see each other through God's eyes, there is no telling the wonderful benefits there are to our hearts.

Seth, United States, GA
1/8/2012 5:44:26 AM
Love it!

Gammy Robertson, United States, IN
1/8/2012 5:56:12 PM
That is my granddaughter. I believe Rebecca can accomplish anything and the dancing is just a start. Thanks to her parents and the instructor. And thanks to God for giving our family our sweet Becca Boo who gives us so much joy.

Rebecca, United States, IN
1/8/2012 6:08:56 PM
This lovely girl and her amazing mommy are changing ideas about "disability" and opening hearts everywhere they go. It is an honor to know them.

Vicki Sawin, United States, IN
1/8/2012 10:14:16 PM
Rebecca is loving her dance class to the maximum! They say we choose what we will do as adults by the things we loved to do as a child. I praise her for her interest & new found ability! Children are to be watched and we gain inspiration from them in a

Carolyn Kilar, United States, IN
1/10/2012 8:34:34 AM
Hearwarming:) Beautiful story full if inspiration for each and every person reading it. Rebecca has perseverce and a loving family and friends to support her. I\'m sure many more recitals will follow!

Carrie Schadler, United States, MA
1/12/2012 8:49:54 AM
beautiful and so sweet

Aaron Smith, United States, IN
1/12/2012 3:11:39 PM
great story

Jo Gilbertson, United States, IN
1/17/2012 5:53:13 PM
What a beautiful story! We never know what amazing things happen when all are given a chance to interact with the environment; How stimulating and exciting our world can be. Your daughter brought joy to so many that night, and opened the hearts of many.

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