Celebrating diversity and the differences between people in the world should be a given, regardless of what country or society you live in.
After all, how boring would the planet be if we all looked and acted exactly the same? Very boring is the answer, if you’re struggling.
In recent years efforts have been made to promote inclusion in the many walks of life. Some areas have found more success than others, sure, but the overall message is clear: just because someone is different from ‘the norm’ they’re no less capable of fantastic things.
Just ask Kennedy Garcia, a girl who doctors advised be committed to an institution when she was a newborn. Kennedy, from Colorado Springs, Colorado, has Down syndrome and, as per Metro, doctors told her mother that she would have a low quality of life as a result.
They feared she would have to wear nappies as an adult and it would kinder if she were placed in a specialized institution for her own well being.
As it were, Kennedy’s mom Renee opted to kick them all out of the hospital room. She wasn’t about to give up on her baby, and time has proven her wiser than all the doctors who advised her.
Fast forward to present day and Kennedy has competed in state-wide dance competitions and modelled for top brands in the United States. She also battled against cancer, overcoming leukaemia with iron will and steadfast bravery.
Renee told Metro: “The night Kennedy arrived, I was heartbroken to learn she had the condition because I was being fed nothing but a negative, bleak picture painted by doctors and nurses who really had no idea what my child‘s future really held.
“It was only the next night when a kind midwife told me Kennedy was beautiful and just like her daughter, who also had the condition, that I felt a glimmer of hope.
“The first thing I asked was if her daughter could walk, because I really didn’t know what having the condition meant, and she just laughed. Her daughter was 16 and of course she could walk.”
Kennedy has certainly proved that obstacles are there to be broken. The youngster has modelled for American Girl and Justice Clothing and is signed with KMR Diversity and Dream Talent Management.
She regularly flies to Hollywood and New York to audition and take part in modelling jobs, but also enjoys spending time with her boyfriend, Matthew, who also has Down syndrome.
As for the doctors who wanted Kennedy placed in an institution, Renee has only one opinion.
“It’s shocking how misinformed they all were, and it was only 15 years ago,” she said. “I feel sad that I wasted time grieving for moments like prom dress shopping as I really had been led to believe none of the normal milestones would be reached.”
Renee and Kennedy now take the time to tour around schools, educating children of all ages as to what Down syndrome is and how they can support people they encounter who have the condition. Kennedy herself is quickly garnering a following on social media – she already boasts almost 70,000 followers on Instagram.
“We’re all incredibly proud of her and everything she’s achieved,” Renee explained to Metro. “She’s a wonderful girl and we are all so lucky to have her in our lives.”
What a brilliant story of triumph over the odds and a little girl who has refused to let anything stand in her way. Kennedy’s story really does put a smile on your face – we wish her all the very best moving forward.
Share this article if you believe diversity is beautiful, and to pay tribute to this brave girl.