For this young girl, Down syndrome doesn’t stand in the way of being a cheerleader for her high school varsity. Her parents, too, needn’t worry anymore about her being accepted, as everyone simply loves her. She’s now enjoying life to the full.
When Kenzie Zacharias, 16, from Clarkston, Michigan, was first diagnosed with Down syndrome, her parents feared she might not be accepted by others.
Frigid temps didn’t stop Kenzie from cheering the Clarkston Wolves to advancing to the next round💙🏈💛🏸
“The day she was born, we didn’t know she had Down syndrome,” mom Kelly Zacharias told WJBK. “I said to Joe, I kind of went into mourning for 24 hours only. And I was so scared of how people were going to accept her.”
In 2017, Kenzie’s father, Joe, who worked as water manager for the varsity football team, let her help out. Young Kenzie stood there transfixed watching the cheerleaders, and this led to her copying their actions.
Becca Winkler, one of the cheerleaders, then decided to encourage Kenzie to join in, and since then, the sophomore now cheers her school team every Friday!
“She will come to practice and she just comes in and screams, ‘Hi!’ to everyone,” said Winkler.
The kindhearted girl doesn’t just stop at cheering for her school, she also goes further to encourage anyone else who needs motivation.
“She’s just hugging everyone. Sometimes she goes to away games she’s hugging other people she doesn’t know. She just brightens everyone’s day,” Winkler added.
Cheerleading had led to amazing experiences Kenzie probably once only dreamed about. Kelly said that Kenzie “loves every minute of it.”
“She loves the girls she loves the crowd she loves the community,” Kelly said. “This is an awesome opportunity.”
“This is just the epitome of every mother’s dream to have this happen for her and I hope it happens to other special needs children because she is capable,” Kelly said.
The lovely Kenzie wears a varsity jacket from her wardrobe when she hangs out with other cheerleaders.
The enthusiastic girl also tries to do everything the other girls do, except the stunts.
Kenzie’s younger sister, Maddie is “really proud of how far she has come.” She also went further to explain that she is happy to often see Kenzie practicing cheering in her room.
Kenzie was also once named “Athlete of the Week.”
This girl continues to spread her warmth.
In another instance, a gymnast named Chelsea Werner has Down syndrome, but you wouldn’t know it from her résumé: she has amassed an incredible list of achievements.
Chelsea took part in and has won the Special Olympics United States National Championship four times. She has also won the World Championship twice. Gymnastics was originally recommended to Chelsea by her physicians as a 4-year-old-child because Down syndrome (which affects 1 in 700 babies) can cause an under-development of muscles in the body. Nobody knew just how far the graceful hobby would take her.
And Chelsea now has another achievement to add to her list: modeling.
“The more we are represented, the more people will see how capable we are,” Chelsea asserted, in an email to Aplus.com.
You may also want to watch this video
Man with down syndrome gets surprise by his co-workers…