Sara Pickard of Wales is 34 years old, and has a very full life. She has been an actress, a charity worker, a counselor, and is considered one of “Wales’ most inspirational women.” She even got to be an Olympic torch bearer. All of these achievements for a person her age are noteworthy, but what makes them even more inspiring is the fact that Sara has Down syndrome.
Sara calls Down syndrome “a label,” adding, “It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a disability or not, because I always believe in a motto, which is ‘Down’s syndrome… so what?'” Sara has not allowed this difference — considered by society to be a disability — stop her from achieving whatever she has put her mind to. A video from ITV Wales shares her story:
Sara states in the video that she passed all ten of her GCSEs and feels that anyone, “with or without a disability,” can achieve this, and advance themselves to do whatever they want to do. She believes it is important to “encourage more young people with disabilities to have a voice to get opportunities to say what they feel” because sometimes they “could feel quite isolated.”
Sadly, there is a discriminatory, ableist mentality behind the abortion of children with Down syndrome. Speaking as a person who knows first hand that people with Down syndrome are far more capable than society gives them credit for, Sara says, “If you’ve got a child with Down’s syndrome, and if they can go on and live their lives and have great opportunities, why not have that child?… Love that child for who they are, and let them surprise you.”
Sara’s boyfriend, Simon, commented below the video posting on Facebook, writing, “I’m Sara’s boyfriend and well… I continue to be amazed by her and all she has achieved (and continues to do so). She continues to inspire and amaze people all around the world, let alone Wales. I couldn’t be more proud!… People with Down’s syndrome can and DO live full, happy, meaningful lives.”