Wisconsin woman inspires others: ‘I don’t let Down syndrome define me’
MADISON, Wis. — October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Throughout the month, those who celebrate share the abilities and accomplishments of those who live with Down syndrome.
Danielle Thoe, 29, is sharing a message on behalf of the Down syndrome community that Down syndrome doesn’t define her: she defines it.
Thoe lights up any room she is in, makes a point to include everyone and makes the world a better place.
She described herself saying, “I am so funny.”
Thoe is aware that she has some special needs and needs help with certain things sometimes, but said, ”I don’t let Down syndrome define me. This is how God made me.”
Thoe is a dancer, cheerleader, pageant queen, the winner of Special Olympics competitions who also water skis and loves people.
“I like to spend time with my friends. I love texting a lot,” she said.
Thoe said texting is one of her favorite activities, and she likes to talk to as many people she can because she wants everyone “to be all happy.”
Thoe’s mom, Shaun Thoe, said having Thoe as a daughter is a journey she never planned.
“You never know what you’re going to get,” Shaun Thoe said.
Throughout her 29 years of being by her daughter’s side through her adventures, she sees the difference her daughter makes on everyone — including herself
“She makes me get out of my comfort zone,” Shaun Thoe said. “It makes me go talk to different people.”
Shaun Thoe said her daughter is always going up to people and making others feel good about themselves and whatever they are doing. Her confidence and ability to lift others up was learned at a very early age, according to Shaun Thoe.
“She was telling me that people were staring at her when she was younger,” Shaun Thoe said. “I went, ‘Well you’re beautiful. And so now people come up, they go, ‘You’re beautiful.’ She goes, ‘Yeah, I know.'”
Danielle Thoe’s story is being shared this month to show others to “See the people first. Include them in small things, large things. She just doesn’t want to be in a group with special needs. She wants to be out there in the community.”
To follow Thoe’s accomplishments and journey, you can follow her public Facebook account here.
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