Today I want to talk about allies. People who will stand by us, support us, even go to war if needed.
Friends who became allies
Our friends, seriously guys, I don’t mean to show off but – c’mon! Through thick and thin. Highs and lows. Our friends celebrate with us every win, with the understanding of what each win means to us. Many of our friends are traveling over 500 miles to celebrate with us at the Be Beautiful, Be Yourself Fashion Show. And though everyone who we know to be an ally can’t make that trip, they support and celebrate Marcus online, in person, and at our celebration back home. Many of our friends Marcus and I have grown up with, and they grow with each new lesson in advocacy.
Allies who became friends
Then there are those who we met as allies and have since become friends. Noah Witchell, the illustrator of Black Day: The Monster Rock Band, and his family, have been a shining example of what an alley is. He has been a respectful collaborator with Marcus from the start. And then, also, celebrates with Marcus every step along the way. Noah and his family embrace every step and challenge with an open mind, and also a compassionate mind, to find and embrace diversity and solutions. Just. Amazing.
Advocates who are allies
SO MANY ADVOCATES!
Advocates make great friends, btw.
Our local DSA, the Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands, has taken their advocacy to the rooms of law makers on both local and national levels. They also walk the talk with employing Marcus and providing to him employment that is appropriate for him, even though he does not have a steady job coach to assist. They recognize his strengths and don’t allow his limitations to over shadow who he is or his place in the community.
Obviously, we also believe in the advocacy and mission of the advocates at the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, who have been big fans of Marcus and are excited to shine the spotlight on him front and center in only one more week. (ONE MORE WEEK – SQUEEEEE!)
Medical Professionals who are allies
In addition to our local primary physician, who I am lucky to consider an ally, the medical professionals and researchers affiliated with Global are a huge asset to the ally pool. Each time I get to hear an update on their progress, I am filled with hope and appreciation for the work both happening now and developing. (See: Hope for Alzheimer’s, Human Trisome Project, and Support Research that Affects Someone You Love)
Admittedly, family as allies is hard for every family who’s ever confided in me about their triumphs and struggles after diagnosis. Ours is no different, being full of humans and all. The amazing bit is how our most of family continues to learn and grow in their advocacy and roles as allies. One thing I can say for sure, my family, and Quinn’s too, have always been 100% pro-Marcus to be who he is and celebrate alongside him. It is because of our family that we will be center stage at the Global event and their commitment to improving the lives of people with Down syndrome. Being an ally isn’t easy, and being family, no one chose this path. I am so thankful for those who have and continue to learn, celebrate, and grown with us.
Allies we’ve never met
So many. SO many people who recognize and do what’s right, because it is right. Oh. I’m so thankful for these people. One is a young person we did meet last week, after she wrote this letter and, it’s amazing. It gives us all #HopeForHumanity. You should read it here: THEY PROBABLY WILL DO MORE AMAZING THINGS
Every person I know hits rough patches and high peaks and having an ally is often the difference between scaling the cliff or plummeting. Even when we plummet, it is our allies who pull us back to solid ground. True allies are not bought. They stand beside, and for, you and their support is, well, priceless.
This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday, cohosted with the inimitable Kristi of Finding Ninee. Join up with us here and tell me – “What is priceless about…”