2008 National Youth Representative
Easter Seals, West Georgia
He’s quick to talk about how he loves to swim and play soccer, and do things with his family, especially with his Dad.
Meeting 8-year-old Scottie today, it’s hard to imagine the toddler his family and friends recall, who was diagnosed with “severe autism” at age two. Last spring, he was named the top first grade student in his class, a distinction he takes in stride.
Janelle and Rick Farrell discovered their beautiful baby girl, Vanessa, had Down syndrome the moment she was born. They loved their daughter without reservation, and began to learn as much as they could about her condition. They watched and learned from Vanessa, who taught them truckloads about how simple a thing like joy can be.
When Sarah was born, the nurses nicknamed her “Firecracker” for her vibrant personality and loud protests when they would disturb her for tests. After eight months, it was clear that Sarah still had that firecracker spirit even though she was not developing normally.
Two weeks later, Sarah was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which affects her ability to sit, stand and walk. Yet, today, at age nine, Sarah is in the middle of the fun as she plays with her friends at Freedom Playground. It’s a place where she is simply free to be.