Garfield & Hecht, P.C. In Honor of World Down’s Syndrome Day 2018, Contributes to Ruby’s Rainbow.
Bailey Calhoun an associate attorney at Garfield & Hecht, P.C. Aspen office tells the story of her son.
He was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome when he was one week old. During the week leading up to the diagnosis, I desperately hoped the test would come back negative. I stared at his down-turned ears and tried to convince myself they were squished from the birth and would straighten out eventually. I told myself that his eyes were not really that almond-shaped. Newborns all look a little different, right? But deep down, I knew the truth. The hours following the diagnoses were marked by grief and guilt. I knew next to nothing about Down’s syndrome, and the unknown was scary. I grieved over the loss of the son I thought I would have, and the life I wanted for him. I was devastated to think that he may never be able to go to college, earn a living wage, or live independently. And I felt incredibly guilty for feeling such grief. Luckily for me, I had already fallen in love, hard. All the grief and guilt soon fell away. I began to realize that having my son was a very special gift. At the same time, I quickly began to modify my expectations for him. I accepted that he would not go to college, earn a living wage, or live independently. I hoped he would be happy as long as he was loved. I quickly began learning the ropes of raising a special needs child, navigating the various therapies and medical procedures, and advocating on his behalf when necessary. I also came to realize that I do not need to lower my expectations for my son.
When he was about a year old, I learned about an organization called Ruby’s Rainbow. Ruby’s Rainbow grants scholarships to people with Down’s syndrome who are seeking post-secondary education, enrichment, or vocational classes. The organization’s mission is not only to help people with Down’s syndrome achieve their dreams of higher education, but also to spread awareness of their capabilities and “general awesomeness.” The founder of Ruby’s Rainbow has a daughter with Down’s syndrome. Through this organization, she aims to show the world what she sees in her daughter. Ruby’s Rainbow is breaking stereotypes and opening peoples’ minds as to what a person with Down’s syndrome can achieve in life, including my own. In just a few years, Ruby’s Rainbow has issued over 150 scholarships to very deserving recipients. Ruby’s Rainbow