Girl with Down's syndrome becomes model after doctors told mum to give her away

By Mirror | Friday, Feb 21st 2020 at 15:16
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A girl with Down's syndrome whose mum was once told to give her up for adoption now models for top brands across the US.

When 15-year-old Kennedy Garcia was born her mum Renee was advised by doctors she would have no quality of life.

They said she would be wearing nappies as an adult and better off in a specialist institution - with one medic even suggesting that she consider adoption.

But after a kind midwife told Renee she also had a daughter with the condition, she remained hopeful and refused to give up.

Today, Kennedy, from Colorado Springs, has modelled for American Girl and Justice Clothing, competes in state-wide dance competitions and has even featured in a nation-wide TV advert.

"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," Renee, 40, says.

"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.

"It gave me hope for the future."

Down’s syndrome occurs when a baby is born with an extra chromosome.


It carries varying levels of learning disability, as well as common physical traits, but those with the condition go on to have fulfilled lives and many abilities.

"Now, Kennedy is like most girls her age," mum-of-four Renee continues.

"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 began dancing at the age of five after recovering from leukaemia and undergoing dangerous surgery to stabilise her neck and spine.

"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 paralysed already," she adds.

Despite spending six months in a halo, or metal frame screwed into her skull to keep her neck immobilised, her mum says she never stopped smiling.

The teenager is now signed up with KMR Diversity and Dream Talent Management and regularly jets to Hollywood and New York for auditions and modelling jobs.

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