Girl with Down syndrome who doctors wanted put in institution becomes top model


A girl with Down syndrome who doctors wanted to be committed to an institution has thrived to become a top model.

Kennedy Garcia’s mother Renee was distraught when doctors told her the newborn wouldn’t have any quality of life, would still be in nappies into adulthood and would be better off in a specialist institution.

One medic even suggested she ‘just give her up for adoption.’ Renee, from Colorado Springs in Colorado, kicked them all out of her hospital room and refused to give up on her child.

And 15 years later Kennedy has defied their gloomy predictions in spectacular style. The youngster recently attended homecoming prom with her devoted boyfriend Matthew, has competed in state-wide dance competitions and models for top brands across the US.

Renee, 40, says, ‘The night Kennedy arrived, I was heartbroken to learn she had the condition because I was being fed nothing but a negative, bleak picture painted by doctors and nurses who really had no idea what my child‘s future really held. ‘It was only the next night when a kind midwife told me Kennedy was beautiful and just like her daughter, who also had the condition, that I felt a glimmer of hope.

‘The first thing I asked was if her daughter could walk, because I really didn’t know what having the condition meant, and she just laughed.

Her daughter was 16 and of course she could walk.’ As the mum-of-four listened to the nurse’s stories about her daughter, she realized the girl sounded much like other teenagers Renee knew. ‘It gave me hope for the future,’ Renee recalls. ‘Now, Kennedy is like most girls her age. She has a posse of friends who adore her, she loves to dance, sing and experiment with her hair and makeup.

She goes to the cinema with her brother and their friends and sometimes breaks the rules.

‘She has brought so much joy and laughter into our lives and has grown into a gorgeous, funny young woman with the world at her feet.’

Kennedy, who has modeled for American Girl, Justice Clothing and recently appeared on a nation-wide US census television advert first began dancing aged five. She was only able to do so after dangerous surgery to stabilize her neck and spine was a success.

‘She’d just recovered from leukaemia when we learnt the top of Kennedy’s cervical spine was separating from the base of her skull. It was a miracle she hadn’t been paralyzed already,’ Renee added.

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