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

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The Greatest Uncle in the World
The Greatest Uncle in the World

When my uncle Dan was born the doctor told my grandparents that he wouldn’t be able to walk or talk and that they should just give him up because he was different. They were wrong, he was special and he inspired and touched the lives of everyone that he met. He not only walked, he ran, and anyone who knew him understood how much he loved to talk. He greeted everyone with a smile, a hug, and a “hey, big guy!” I want to share the story of Danny because of the impact he had on my life. He was more than an uncle to me. Growing up I spent hours with Dan, playing basketball, watching baseball games, playing Old Maid, having tea parties, and so much more. He wrote me songs on his out-of-tune guitar and wrote me cards and in his own unique handwriting. He came to all of my sporting events and I could always hear him yelling above anybody else in the crowd. He loved to tease my grandma and me, calling us names like “old lady” and “dirty bird.” He had a comeback or remark for everything, either sticking out his tongue and humming or pointing out non-discretely that we had dropped something. His positivity and generosity taught me to love life and to love everybody. More than anything, Dan loved his family. He was happiest when everyone was home from college and all in the same room, eating of course. Dan loved to eat. One time he ate out at a buffet that had pea salad. He decided to take the serving spoon and test out the pea salad. He liked it so much that he kept eating it straight out of the container in the serving line. Truth be told I could go on all day with stories about Dan and they wouldn’t come close to explaining how much having him in my life has meant to me or the joy that he has brought to everyone around him. Because of him I am attending college to become a special education teacher. I want to work with kids that deserve the opportunities and support that my uncle Dan got from my wonderful grandparents. Because of them Dan was able to get an education and graduate from high school. Dan held a lot of different jobs throughout his adult life. At one point he worked three different jobs at once. Everyone that he worked with loved him and how hard he worked. His positive attitude and love for what he was doing rubbed off on his co-workers. Dan passed away in November. He lived and inspired people for much longer than the doctors at the beginning would have ever expected. All of the letters that we received during this time just showed how amazing Dan was and how many people he had actually touched during his time here. He’s one that no one will ever forget!

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Taylor Pearson, United States, MA
7/16/2014 9:12:12 PM
Dan sounds so amazing and you are so lucky to have been touched by his life. His legacy will live on through you, and as a brand new aunt to a little niece with Down syndrome, I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to learn people like you are out there to continue the education and great opportunities your uncle was provided with. Thank you for sharing!

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