He’s downright perfect: Down syndrome is nothing to fear

DSACO’s annual fundraiser, The Columbus Buddy Walk, takes place Sunday, October 2 at Obetz Fortress.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio aims to support new parents and educate them about the special needs of their child.

DSACO works tirelessly to raise awareness of the disease, so parents know that Down Syndrome is nothing to worry about, even if you’re a teenage single mom.

Having a child with special needs can be daunting for anyone, let alone a high school student. But Aniya Coady says the diagnosis didn’t shock her.

On the day of her ultrasound, Coady thinks she was given a sign of things to come.

“I was going through my [social media] feed and saw a whole bunch of Down syndrome posts. So I’m like, ‘why am I seeing this all of a sudden?’ Said Coady. “I felt like something was going to happen, considering I saw all those messages before I went on the date.”

So when the young mum-to-be learned her unborn child was likely to have trisomy 21, the most common form of Down syndrome, she remained calm.

“The tech’s face just fell off, I guess she noticed the markers,” Coady told 10TV.

Aniya’s mother, Christina Watkins, says the situation was scary, but not because her daughter was pregnant. It was scary because she didn’t want her daughter to reject the baby.

“Your life doesn’t end with this disability,” says Watkins. ” You can continue. Aniya can be a mother and continue her studies.

At 16, Aniya embraced motherhood and all of her responsibilities with a little help from DSACO.

“They’re amazing,” Coady said. “DSACO helps with whatever it can. They even show up for hospital visits.

There are a lot of hospital visits. Cameron is now 18 months old and has already had three surgeries. Health issues keep him in and out of hospital.

Coady is just grateful to have both her birth family and her DSACO family to lean on. Coady and her mother know firsthand that a diagnosis of Down syndrome is nothing to worry about.

“Cameron is a blessing,” Watkins said. “Any child with Down syndrome is a blessing.”

DSACO’s annual fundraiser, The Columbus Buddy Walk, takes place Sunday, October 2 at Obetz Fortress. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show your support, you can donate to the fundraiser or register for the walk here.

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