My name is Kathleen Sheil.
I was very upset when I saw the CBS News report in August about how Iceland is eradicating Down syndrome with genetic testing and abortion. The story shared that the majority of women who received a positive test for Down syndrome ended their pregnancy.
I want to let you know that I have Down syndrome and I am important to this world. I am 36 years old and I am a board member of LADD.
Yes, I may be different from you but because of who I am but we are all different from each other. My mother has always told me to put my best foot forward and think positive things, so I make friends easy. I have a heart of gold. I am a person with a lot of energy. At LADD, I help my friends by talking to them about things, and encouraging them to get out into the community and take a walk. I volunteer my time. I love to speak my mind and I speak up for what I believe in. My life is great and I like to talk about it.
I am proud that I moved into LADD. I was scared at first but now I love being on my own. I do a lot of cooking and have made stuffed shells. I like to be independent and that makes me want to support other people. I tell them it is ok and that LADD has changed my life. Now LADD is my home and I can invite people over if I want.
Like you, I have goals I want to achieve. I have always wanted to do things with fashion. I love to sing and one day I would like to be a singer. I am an artist and have done things with Visionaries and Voices, Stepping Stones and Melodic Connections. One day I would like to get married and have a family.
Above all else, I am a person, like you, who deserves to be loved and respected. I have a lot of friends who are like me and who deserve to be loved and respected too.
If I had not been born, the world would have missed out on getting to know Kathleen Sheil!