Wednesday, 12 August 2009
"The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s “death panel” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care."
In the above statement, Sarah Palin not only distorted President Obama's healthcare reform proposals, but she also implied that Trig will not achieve an acceptable “level of productivity in society”.
I did a bit of searching on the internet and found information about a variety of people who were born with Down Syndrome.
Chris Burke, born August 26, 1965, in Point Lookout, New York, is an American actor with Down syndrome, best known for his character Charles "Corky" Thatcher on the television series Life Goes On.
His parents were told to institutionalize him when he was born, but they decided to raise him at home and nurture his talents. He was encouraged to follow his career objectives no matter how untraditional they seemed for a young man with Down syndrome. His siblings also worked with him. Many were surprised at how bright Burke was when he entered formal schooling.
Blair Williamson was born with Down syndrome weighing 3 lbs. 6 oz. He had 9 surgeries by the time he was 5 years old and didn't walk until he was nearly 4 years old. By the time he was a healthy 10 year old he was running 400 meters for Special Olympics. His ability to run got him a lead role in a national commercial for Procter and Gamble in 1990.
Blair has been running to jobs ever since. He guest starred on "The Guardian," co-starred on "ER" and he has been murdered on "CSI" and had his nose done on "nip/tuck." His film credits include a co-star role on USA's "My Antonia," as well as many independent features and shorts. Blair is most proud of his work on the feature film "Unknown," to be released in 2006, where he plays the janitor. The role was physical and demanding.
When Andrea Fay Friedman was born in Los Angeles on June 1,1970, nobody would have predicted that she would become a well-known actress and public speaker, go to college, hold a job, drive a car and live a full and independent life. Because Andrea was born with Down syndrome, the pediatrician told her parents to send her straight to an institution because she would not develop beyond the mental age of four or five. Her parents, Harold and Marjorie Friedman, ignored the doctor's advice, took Andrea home, loved her, taught her and worked to help her develop to her full potential.
When Jane Cameron was diagnosed with Down syndrome at four months old, Jane's parents were told their daughter was "retarded" and that they should: "Put her in an institution and forget about her." They were shocked and, despite knowing little to nothing about Down syndrome they decided that what their child needed was as much love, care and education as they could possibly give her.
Although her artistic talent was not discovered until Jane was about twenty, her tapestries now hang across the world. Jane's embroidered tapestries are glowing statements of her imagination and her love and affection for all living things. A life that could have been a tragedy became one of joy for Jane's parents and hope for other parents of children with Down syndrome.
27-year-old Sujeet Desai is an accomplished musician born with Down syndrome. Sujeet plays six instruments. Bb and Bass clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Violin, Piano and drums. In June 2001 he graduated from high School with honors and in May 2003 from the Berkshire Hills Music Academy in Massachusetts after two-year residential Post-secondary study in Music and Human services. Sujeet travels around the world to do his inspirational solo performances and self-advocacy workshops.
Michael Jurogue Johnson has been painting fulltime for nine years. This gifted artist was born with Down syndrome, but he was also born with an inherited artistic talent. His family tree is filled with artists, engineers, and classical musicians.
When he graduated from public school at the age of 21, Michael decided to become a fulltime artist, rather than working in a sheltered workshop. Michael learned how to paint by painting every day, building on what he had learned in school, and experimenting.
Raymond Hu is a twenty-one-year-old artist residing in Alamo, CA. Born with Down syndrome, Raymond graduated from San Ramon Valley High School, Danville, California in summer 1996, where he was enrolled in a full inclusion program for four years. Since Sept. 1996, he has been attending a Transistion Program in the high school, and taking art and other classes at Diablo Valley College and Laney College.
Raymond has been studying Chinese brush painting with renowned San Francisco artist Lampo Leong since 1990. He has developed a uniquely free and expressive style of painting that has won much critical acclaim. In the last few years, he has concentrated on painting animals, ranging from lions to tigers, lizards, elephants, birds, and fish. He uses photos of animal images as models, but his interpretation is quite unique. The medium he uses is ink and watercolor applied with round brush on thin absorbant rice-paper.
Born in Nashville TN with Down Syndrome, Bernadette Resha has become well known in the art community worldwide.
Her exposure to the art world and culture started as a child attending as many art galleries, museums, concert halls and plays as her time would allow.
From an early age she was encouraged to draw and color in her own style as a form of expression and therapy. This has resulted in a body of work which documents an artist developing a unique style entirely her own.
With an artist grandmother and a mother fully committed to allowing her to use this medium of self expression for as far as she would care to take it, Bernadette now exhibits in numerous art galleries, art and craft shows throughout south east and attends many conventions throughout the United States showing and selling her work.
The parents of many of these very talented and productive people were advised to place them in institutions because "they were retarded and would not achieve anything". This kind of advice was given many years ago.
Trig was born in a different world, but his own so-called mother seems to believe he won't amount to very much, or she wouldn't have used him as an example of a person with a low “level of productivity in society” when facing Obama’s “death panel”.
Hopefully Trig will prove her wrong and his bio will show that he was born to be more than a political prop, not defined by his disability and Sarah Palin's ambition, but by his own achievements.