Breaking News
More () »

He's Downright perfect: Down syndrome is nothing to be afraid of

DSACO’s annual fundraiser, The Columbus Buddy Walk, is Sunday, Oct. 2 at the Fortress Obetz.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Down Syndrome Association of Central Ohio is all about supporting new parents and educating them about their child’s special needs.

DSACO works tirelessly to raise awareness about the disorder, so parents know that Down syndrome is nothing to be afraid of, even if you’re a single, teenage mom.

Having a child with special needs can be intimidating for anyone, let alone a high school student. But Aniya Coady says the diagnosis didn’t shock her.

On the day of her ultrasound, Coady believes she was given a sign of things to come.

“I was scrolling through my [social media] feed and I saw a whole bunch of Down syndrome posts. So, I’m like, ‘why am I seeing this all of a sudden?’” Coady said. “I felt like something was coming, given the fact that I saw all these posts prior to going to the appointment.”

So, when the young mom-to-be was told her unborn child would likely have Trisomy-21, the most common form of Down syndrome, she remained calm.

“The technician’s face just dropped, I guess she noticed the markers,” Coady told 10TV.

Aniya’s mother, Christina Watkins, says the situation was scary but not because her daughter was pregnant. It was scary because she didn’t want her daughter to reject the baby.

“Your life doesn’t stop with this disability,” says Watkins. “You can keep going. Aniya can be a mom and continue her education.”

At 16-years-old, Aniya embraced motherhood and all of its responsibilities with a little help from DSACO.

“They’re amazing,” Coady said. “DSACO helps with every little thing they possibly can. They even show up to hospitals visits.”

There are a lot of hospital visits. Cameron is now 18 months old and he’s already had three surgeries. Health issues keep him in and out of the hospital.

Coady is just thankful she has both her biological family and her DSACO family to lean on. Coady and her mom know firsthand that a Down syndrome diagnosis is nothing to be afraid.

“Cameron is a blessing,” said Watkins. “Any child with Down syndrome is a blessing.”

DSACO’s annual fundraiser, The Columbus Buddy Walk, is Sunday, Oct.  2 at the Fortress Obetz. Whether you have Down syndrome, know someone who does, or just want to show support, you can donate to the fundraiser or register for the walk here.

Local News: Recent Coverage ⬇️

Before You Leave, Check This Out