Triston wants to inspire others
Triston (22) from Verwoerdpark did not see his disability as something that limited him, but as an advantage to live his life to the full.
He recently opened his own business and hopes to inspire other people with disabilities who feel there aren’t enough opportunities available to lead a normal life.
Triston was born with mosaic Down syndrome and had symptoms of autism.
Down syndrome is a genetic condition that causes an extra chromosome to appear in a person’s DNA. Human DNA usually contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, or 46 in total. These chromosomes contain the information that tells cells how to grow.
His parents, Paul and Lindie, discovered his condition when he was a month old.
His parents fell in love with their little boy as soon as they saw him.
“He was our first child and you can only imagine first-time parents with a baby with Down syndrome. Triston hit all of his milestones at the same age, just like any normal child,” Lindie said.
She struggled to find a nursery school for her at the time, but Magda Niemand of Kewpie Nursery School in Verwoerdpark changed that.
“They took in Triston and cared for him for seven years. They treated him like they would treat any other child. Triston was very fond of his school, his teachers and his friends.
By the time of elementary school, her parents again struggled to find a school that would accept her.
He had to pass some tests requested by the schools.
Triston attended a special school in Winchester Hills for two years before going to Optim-Ed Learning Center in Brackenhurst for four years.
Again, the challenge came when it was time for high school, but Lindie found the Lusito Association, and Triston loved every minute there.
When he turned 18, he stayed home with his nanny, Leah Selepe, and helped her with her daily chores.
“Triston wanted to help clean up, do the laundry and cook dinner. He enjoyed the time spent with Leah. I’ll come home, and he’ll just come to me with a sandwich he made. Let me tell you, the sandwich wasn’t perfect, but it was the best sandwich just because he made it,” Lindie said.
Triston always said that he was not disabled but had different abilities.
Two difficult years
Triston is a perfectionist and does not like change.
“He’s a routine guy and if something happens that disrupts his routine, he’s not happy.”
Then the pandemic hit and it changed a lot of things.
Triston couldn’t go out or visit anyone.
“He was so used to us going to work, and now we were all working from home and it was like we were in his space. I had to explain everything to him in detail, even though it was a huge challenge.
Lindie’s happy, free-spirited child suddenly became depressed.
“Raising Triston wasn’t a challenge, but the last few years have been a big challenge. He didn’t want to do anything and was just depressed.
Her mother looked for many ways and things to do to help her through the whole transition and make things easier for her.
“I tried to involve him in my work at home, but he wasn’t interested.
“Nothing worked and I tried everything,” Lindie said.
Her psychologist couldn’t believe it was the same child.
Giving back and spoiling people has always been his way of life.
He would take things out of his mom’s closet and put them in a gift bag and give it to her just because.
“Giving gifts or doing things for my loved ones, that’s what I do,” he said.
One day, Lindie had the idea of opening a business for Triston.
“I asked him what he wanted to do and he gave me his ideas for making little gift packages. It was just before Valentine’s Day this year, which was the perfect time, as he received 96 orders.
Everyone bought from him and loved what he did.
When Lindie asked him what the name of the business should be, he replied: My Way, and that’s how they came up with the name of the business – Triston’s Way.
“He plans to make packages for every special day of the year, including thank you gifts for weddings, gifts for teachers; anything you can think of.
Since he launched his business, things have been going better.
“Triston is in a better frame of mind and is both excited and overwhelmed.”
Triston, the company owner
He prepares each packet himself and if he decides that packet gets extra chocolate, he will.
Triston has two younger brothers and when he receives large orders he will ask them for help.
“I also pay them if they help me, so they don’t do it for free,” Triston said.
According to Lindie, her two brothers are always ready to help her. It’s also their way of spending time together. Any profits Triston makes, he uses to buy things for himself, as he also has his own bank account.
“It’s one of our goals to donate a portion of the profits to charities in the future as the business grows,” Triston and Lindie said.
People can show their support by following him on Facebook or ordering some of his packages.
For more information call 082 551 8769 or email [email protected]
Learn more about him
Triston is a red-haired young man who will melt your heart with his smile. He is alive and very conscious.
He loves playing Mortal of Combat and other online games.
Pets are close to his heart and he has two dogs, two cats, a parrot and many fish.
Triston spends his free time in his vegetable garden.
“I grow gem squash, carrot, lettuce, pumpkin, tomato and chili,” Triston said.
He also likes to swim.
One of his favorite TV shows is 7de Laan and Finding Nemo, Ice Age and Minions are some of his favorite movies.
Triston is in love with NOW CDs and when his mother asks him what he wants for his birthday, he will always ask for one.
A BMW is his favorite car, and he likes the colors green and white.
He is also a supporter of the Blue Bulls.