An Australian woman whose daughter has Down syndrome recently published a stirring Facebook post taking aim at those who question whether a child like hers “is worthy of life.”
Joelle Kelly’s post reportedly came just before the release of a “60 Minutes” special about the genetic disorder that aired in Australia. Kelly’s 4-year-old daughter, Josee, was born with Down syndrome, Live Action reported.
“Instead of tagging me in posts tonight, I want you to think about how this feels for a person WITH Down syndrome who is listening or reading,” Kelly wrote. “Josee already reads, imagine what she could read online tonight if she was older?”
The 38-year-old mom encouraged people to “spread some positivity” and, rather than “feeding the trolls,” devote their attention to spreading awareness about the value of all life.
“Let people know out there that you value the natural diversity of life,” she wrote. “After all, it’s not Josee having Down syndrome that we find hard, it’s society’s negative stigma.”
Kelly’s comments came as Australia is discussing a new non-invasive, prenatal test that some say could end Down syndrome inside the country. In an interview with the Daily Mail, Kelly said that she remembers the lack of information she was given after discovering that Josee would have Down syndrome.
While doctors asked if she wanted an abortion, the mom refused. She was embarrassed and devastated by the diagnosis, but she said the reality today about how she feels is quite different.
“I did go through all of that but my experience now is like going on a holiday and you are told it’s the worst place in the world but you have the best time,” Kelly said of the struggles. “I thought we wouldn’t be able to travel or work or have a regular life and that couldn’t be further from the case.”
Kelly told the Daily Mail that she wants women to be given accurate and objective information about the choices before them.