MASSIMILIANO ALBANESE wrote -
My name is Federica. My story (and my life) starts a little over 2 years ago. My parents were eagerly expecting their first child, excited and thrilled just like any parent. I was born with Down Syndrome, which means I have three copies of chromosome 21, instead of two. This third copy of chromosome 21 affects the way I grow and develop, both physically and cognitively. My progress will always be slower than my peers, but my life is filled with love. A love that is helping me grow and progress. My parents are supporting me all the way and are teaching me a lot. But, in just two years, I have also thought them a lot. I have taught them to slow down and take pride in every single small achievement. I have taught them to not give anything for granted and to be grateful for everything. I have taught them that life is beautiful, and disabilities cannot limit our happiness and willingness to achieve our dreams. Indeed, I am a very happy and cheerful kid. I bring tons of smiles to people wherever I go. I am also determined and, when something is hard for me, I persist until I succeed. My teachers are very proud of me.
Nonetheless, I have what is called an “intellectual disability”. I can learn to walk, talk, write and read like other kids, but I will have to work harder. Growing up, I will have more limitations, compared to my peers, in terms of activities I can carry out and jobs I can hold. Nowadays, there is no cure for Down Syndrome. More research is needed in this field to find ways to reduce the impact the third copy of chromosome 21 has on the way my brain develops.
I need your help. Please support research on Down Syndrome to help me and others born with my condition to achieve a better quality of life.