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How My Child Inspires Me - By Nondo Capuano

A day in late October 2007, the most important day in my life. The toughest day in my life, the best day of my life. My daughter Clarissa was born on a Monday afternoon and with her birth came a tidal wave of unexpected emotions. I felt a sense of loss, fear, uncertainty and many other embarrassing negative emotions.

All of this emotion came from my lack of knowledge and the general public's perception of Down syndrome. Doctors "warn you about possible cases. I'd grown to believe in the "limits of people that were not genetically "perfect. So when Clarissa was born, my wife and I wept, like the total fools we were.

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We left the hospital three days later and started our new life. We had no idea what was in store. Within a couple of days, Clarissa had won our hearts and she didn't stop there. She quickly transformed me from a crying fool into the proudest father in the whole world. She won the hearts of her early therapists with her determination (they dubbed her Baby Rambo), doctors at Children's Hospital where she left six days after heart surgery, our family with her happy disposition, and strangers all over with her smile. I'm not exaggerating when I say she has made more people smile in 18 months than I have in 42 years. Her laugh and twinkle in her eye makes you feel like you are next to God.

I have been inspired to learn more about people with different abilities and I've discovered just how ignorant I was. I do, however, worry that unless someone has a similar situation to mine that they won't find out just how absurdly wrong the public perception is. Clarissa has inspired me to spread the good word. All I have to do is get her in the room, and she changes the world, one person at a time. I thank God every day that he put her in my life and changed my life forever and her whole family's life forever.

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Inspiring Stories
Along the lines of the "Chicken Soup" stories, RMDSA would like to inspire the world with our own heartwarming stories and words of wisdom.

Rocky Mountain Down Syndrome Association
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