GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - It's estimated that more than 400,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Down syndrome and that number tops all other countries. A Lawrenceville mother decided to take that diagnosis and celebrate her child's milestones, shedding light on what her son and others with special needs can achieve.
Noah Kiefer, 4, will steal your heart with his captivating smile and dazzling dance moves.
"He has Down syndrome, he has heart issues," mother Melissa Kiefer said. "He's just Noah."
Melissa Keifer recently captured a candid shot of her son playing with bubbles in their yard and submitted that precious photo to a contest the National Down Syndrome Society was holding. To her surprise, Noah's photo was one of 500 selected out of 2,000 entries to kick off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. The image is part of a video presentation on a jumbo screen in New York City.
The mother told Good Day Atlanta's Sharon Lawson her family's mission is to educate others not to be defined by their challenges.
"They're just like you and me. Loveable," she said. "They just have an extra chromosome that may make them look different, sound different, behave differently. But they're still normal."
The Times Square video presentation featuring Noah will be followed by the 23rd annual Flagship Buddy Walk taking place across the country.