Life can give us any surprises that in all shapes and sizes. And we never know what blessing is around the next corner.
Parents Julie and Dan McConnel received one of those surprises in the form of their twin sons Charlie and Milo.
The boys were born with Down’s Syndrome, a condition that typically presents some tough challenges for parents.
Despite that, for Julie and Dan, their sons have been two bright rays of sunshine in their world. In fact, the positive influence of Milo and Charlie’s even spreading around the world via the internet, and for the best reason.
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World Down Syndrome Day 2019! . This was our fourth World Down Syndrome Day celebration and I love looking back at how the boys have grown over the years. For the first time, both Charlie and Milo for to run all over the blue field at @boisestateuniversity! No strollers, no walkers. . A huge thank you to our local Down syndrome association for putting on this great party! @tvdsa_insta . Be sure to swipe and check out Spin Doctor Charlie. And I think our first family pyramid was a huge success. Although we may never get the bits of blue turf out of our socks… . #worlddownsyndromeday19 #wdsd19 #boisestatefootball #boisestatebroncos #gobigblue #smurfturf #downsyndromerocks #nothingdownaboutit #rockthe21 @kalechipsnw
Many children born with Down’s syndrome have a difficult time learning the same way other kids do, and can also suffer from a host of physical impairments as well. In short, living with Down’s Syndrome is far from easy.
But for Julie and Dan, they are on a mission to show the world the positive energy their sons bring into their lives. They aim to wipe away the stigma attached to people with Down’s Syndrome, and they’re using their substantial influence on social media to make it happen.
“My hope is to attract families that are receiving a diagnosis of Down syndrome for their child because that can be really scary. I hope that people will find us, and see that this is what life can be like,” Julie told WTSP 10 News.
“It can be fun, it’s full of love, it’s not scary. We have no regrets, and there is so much joy in our lives, and I hope that people will see that.”
The McDonnels plan to start a community where parents with children living with Down’s Syndrome can find educational resources.
Very Rare Case
Milo and Charlie’s shared condition is very rare for fraternal twins; in fact, they are thought to be a 1-in-14 million case.
“It’s big to show everyone else that we are here, and there are all these kids in our community, and we hope that they will see us and remember us and that things will continue to change in our communities with lots of acceptance,” Dan said.
“We’re standing on the shoulders of other parents that have paved the way for all these things to happen and it’s an exciting time to have a child with Down syndrome,” Julie added. “I want to see them grow up and do whatever they want to do.”