An Inspiring Life That Knows No Limit
By STRONG self(ie)
How do you like school, Grace? “I love it!”
Have you ever had struggles that you need to overcome? “Hmmm…no. Well, wait…sometimes my brother bugs me!”
Do you ever feel doubt or not like your strongest self? “Nope.”
When do you feel strong and happy? “All the time!”
Meet Grace, also known as Honey by her family and friends, she is a 7th grader at Hill Middle School in Naperville, Illinois. According to Grace, life is good…really, really good! She enjoys school where she looks forward to math and music. She has lots of friends and many teachers that help her when she has a question. Grace loves sports and is active in soccer, swimming and tennis. She has dreams of going to Disneyland and Las Vegas and loves getting her STRONG self(ie) boxes!
What you don’t know about Grace from reading this is that she has Down syndrome, a diagnosis that took her mom, Holly, and father on an unknown and unexpected journey. A journey Holly says has been hard, yet good. Challenging, yet rewarding. According to Holly the most difficult part has been navigating the unknown. That hasn’t stopped this strong mom from learning all she can about Down syndrome and embracing her unknown future with every once of passion and well…grace!
Holly spends time speaking to students about Down Syndrome. She encourages kids (and adults) to ask questions because she wants them to be educated about this genetic disorder so they are not afraid of others that may be different from them. She wants them to know that Grace is just a kid that likes the same things they do. “Disabilities and special needs aren’t always things you can see. ADD and anxiety are examples of things kids struggle with and educating each other about these is the door to acceptance,” says Holly.
Grace is funny and kind and has big dreams so imagine learning that your beautiful, determined daughter has less then a 20% chance of being employed when she becomes an adult. Holly wanted to create a business that Grace could be part of and eventually take over when she is older. Talk about "girls with goals", a saying we took from a kindness card inside our fall subscription box, together they created 4 Coffee and Grace! It's an online coffee retailer that sells coffee and tea. Together they create t-shirts, coffee mugs and other things to sell on their site in addition to coffee.
Grace’s outlook on life comes from her mom. I’m not sure Holly is aware of it but her voice, attitude and ambition is modeled in her strong, determined daughter. This mom and daughter are on a mission to bring positive awareness to Grace’s genetic disorder, spread kindness and make the most of every day. Grace is living her life to the fullest and she knows no limit! A lesson we can all learn from and aspire too!