Though over 6,000 babies are born with Down Syndrome in the United States, awareness is always being spread so that people can understand those with this condition more.
Meg and Alina were two sisters with Down Syndrome that were adopted by the Hollis family of four, and were welcome with open arms.
Unfortunately, people in the town were not as welcoming, and did something horrible. In the middle of the night, the Hollis’ house and car were vandalized with hate speech such as “reetard” and “Get outta town!” in reference to Meg and Alina.
“That day my life changed forever,” said Anne Hollis, the children’s mother.
Living in a small town in Central Illinois, the family probably was not expecting this kind of response from the townspeople.
But the young Hollis brothers, ages 6 and 7 at the time, not wanting to let this affect their two sisters, decided to stand up to the hate. They made a video to reassure that something like this would never happen again.
The video starts out showing the graffiti that was left on the side of the Hollis’ home.
Something like this can bring down people like Meg and Alina, who have shown nothing but love to those around them.
And the Hollis brothers wanted to give love back.
The video depicted the boys bringing up flash cards, one at a time, that talk about Down Syndrome and the people that have it. Some of the first cards read how people like Meg and Alina were “realizing that with some hard work + help they can do anything,” and “reacting with a wide range of emotion – they are not always happy!”
The boys then held up cards that said, “That is a stereotype – about people with Down Syndrome.”
People who don’t know anything about the condition are led to believe that people like Meg and Alina are less functioning than they actually are, and could always be happy when they are not.
It continues with them saying that Meg and Alina are reliable to make you smile, that they refuse to ever give up, that they recognize their potential, and that they recruit others to help them on their journey.
The brothers’ flash card then asks, “Will you?”
Some of the last flash cards brought up said, “Our sisters are not retards!” And then they ask the viewer to help them with their journey to spread awareness about Down Syndrome. The website www.rword.org is put on the screen for those who want to learn more.
Meg and Alina are two extraordinary sisters, and they have a family that will do anything for them. It’s a message worth spreading, with love and shares. The Hollis brothers posting that video shows that nothing can deter their love for their sisters.
Down syndrome, a common chromosomal disorder, occurs in about 1 in every 700 babies born in the United States—about 6,000 a year. The babies tend to have lower birth weight and shorter life expectancy, and can be at higher risk for other infections. According to the CDC, the chance of a baby having Down syndrome increases as the mother’s age increases.
As of 2002, it was estimated that about 1 in 1,000 children/teenagers in the United States had Down syndrome.