Today is World Down Syndrome Day, a day that reminds me ever more of how grateful I am for my good friend, Tyler Nelson Weekly. I remember him being my roommate in our second year at UCM's THRIVE program, going with him to see all the Hobbit movies, watching his school dance performances, talking to him on the phone, having him spend nights at my home where we watched The Power Rangers, watching the Disney Channel of my own accord for a while after a year of living with him, coming with him to the Down Syndrome Guild of Kansas City's yearly Down syndrome dance, having him by me during my graduation from the University of Central Missouri, taking him for rides the first night I got my new car, going to Royal's game with him and our friend Jack, coming with him to Starlight Performances-where he is an usher captain-and the time he came with me to Minsky's on my twenty-sixth birthday and took a diagonally slanted picture of my mom and me. He constantly supports every dream I have and is just so eye-opening to the lives people with Down syndrome lead. He always wants to help me. I constantly love how he is funny, kind, intuitive, loyal, and so many other things that I am lucky that he is. I remember every time when I have looked for the right woman, and got to know one out there, Tyler would say, "Did you tell her about me?" and I said, "No, Tyler, but don't worry. I would be remiss if the girl I dated did not know about you." I once told my granddad, "Any woman who does not accept Tyler exactly as he is, is no girlfriend of mine."
"On this day, let us reaffirm that persons with Down syndrome are entitled to the full and effective enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms. Let us each do our part to enable children and persons with Down syndrome to participate fully in the development and life of their societies on an equal basis with others. Let us build an inclusive society for all."