The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
666 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York New York 10012

Strength through Faith
Group after the First Communion
Group after the First Communion
Strength through Faith

My story begins in a church setting. I have been an altar server since I was in the sixth grade. I started to serve with a young man named Eric Schultz, who has Down syndrome, and his older brother Jerry a few years after starting to serve. I got to know the both of them, and when Jerry was leaving for school, Eric and his parents asked me to serve with him permanently. I was honored. Eric serves better than many of the servers without any disabilities. And he always has a smile on his face. He only needs a bit of encouragement and I am grateful to be the one to give it to him. Through my work with Eric, I was exposed to one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever witnessed. Eric was asked to serve a first communion for other children with Down syndrome. I watched all of them take the body of Christ for the first time, and it brought tears to my eyes. I have never been more impressed. Eric has taught me lessons in life that I would never have learned on my own. He has showed me that an obstacle, no matter how large, can be overcome by faith. Eric has become a little brother to me, and I will love him forever.

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