Infants, children and adults with Down syndrome often suffer the effects of social and ethical stigmas. From the moment of a prenatal diagnosis and well into adulthood (if they are not aborted), individuals with Down Syndrome – and their families – may suffer from discrimination, misunderstanding, and ridicule simply because of chromosomal differences.
In an inspiring public move, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have recently reached out in a way that may help to diminish some of the stigma from which persons with Down syndrome and their families suffer.
During Kate Middleton’s pregnancy with Prince George, Tazia Fawley, who has Down syndrome, spent much of her time crafting a beautiful painting in hopes that the couple would receive her offering as a gift after the prince was born. According to the Huffington Post, the painting depicts Rupert the Bear, a children’s classic, flying in a hot air balloon. You can view the painting here.
Tazia spent six months on the painting and when it was completed, the director of Heart and Sold (an organization which advocates for artists with Down syndrome) took a photo of the painting and sent it to the royal couple, asking whether the young family would be willing to accept the painting as a gift.
Although William and Kate are not privy to accepting gifts from the public, they enthusiastically received the beautiful piece of artwork. Tazia’s mother, who hopes that the celebrity influence of the royal couple will encourage people who discriminate against Down syndrome, commented on the incident, saying:
In England, there always has been a stigma attached to [Down syndrome], and now that is washed away by the fact that the Duke and Duchess have accepted that painting. For this to happen, it’s kind of turned that negativity around.
Fawley’s mother also hopes that the event will inspire and encourage other individuals with Down syndrome to pursue their dreams.
Editor’s Note: This summer – and into the fall – we will be providing you with a Life of the Week story every Friday. Our previous Life of the Week articles are here:
- Life of the Week: Coming your way soon
- Life of the Week: Marlena Diedrich and the Acts of Grace Foundation
- Life of the Week: One mom’s hopeful journey from infertility to fulfilled dreams
- Life of the Week: Rapper’s heartbreaking video on regretting abortion has 6+million views
- Life of the Week: From abortion to pro-life speaker
- Life of the Week: Two students bike to save unborn babies
- Life of the Week: Standing for life in Texas
- Life of the Week: Midwife fights against describing children as “monsters”
- Life of the Week: Eli Project gives orphans hope and homes
- Life of the Week: Defying the doctors and the odds with Trisomy 18
- Life of the Week: Noah’s Dad
- Life of the Week: Pro-life artist: “I want to put the message of love before anything else”
- Life of the Week: Are pro-life doctors the wave of the future?
- Life of the Week: Couple adopts baby whom others called a curse
- Life of the Week: I was pro-choice…until Ava came
Please come back each Friday to find a new featured Life of the Week!