At 26 years old, I never thought I might have a child with Down syndrome, but there he was. David was born early, with birth defects, and many surgeries in his future. A total of six surgeries later, you would never think to look at him, but this little guy fought for years to stay alive. Now he is turning eight years old and, though he is truly 100 percent all-boy, he inspires many people. He makes friends wherever he goes. He has celebrity-status at his current school, and his past schools. He was known at his last school as “Pirate Dave!” Every milestone has been a struggle for Dave, due to prematurity and medical issues. Yet he faced them head-on. It always amazed me to see him struggle for weeks or months learning a new skill and once he got it, he mastered it! He is still making great strides. He has done so well academically in school this year! He is reading, working on pre-writing skills, and math skills. Dave has a Facebook “Just for Fun” page. I upload pictures and videos to share; I write about our trials and ask for advice and support from the Down syndrome community. Having a child with special needs makes us part of a community. Dave loves attention and he loves taking photos and making videos for his page. We get a lot of great feedback, love, and support. I’ve never viewed having Dave as a burden, though there are many responsibilities that come with having a child who has special needs, but with this responsibility I grew up, I became stronger. I had no choice. I view myself not just as a mom, but as an advocate, for Dave and other children with disabilities. When I look at my son, I don’t see Down syndrome… I see trouble! I see love, a great smile, sneakiness, stubbornness, fun and so much more! Life would be boring without our little man! I honestly don’t know who I would be today if I hadn’t been blessed with my little angel. I feel the world or the devil has tried to rip him from me since gestation, but he is a fighter and he continues to fight to find his place in the world! And I truly believe that my little guy will be entertaining, inspiring, motivating and supporting others all his life!