I want to share a great story about a courageous twenty-four year old young lady, named Anya Solis, who has Down syndrome. I met Anya on Halloween in 1987. Anya and her mother knocked on my front door for a treat. Anya was about three feet tall. I will never forget the way she pushed her walker through the crowds to get her candy. Her mother and I instantly became best friends. We were inseparable- we shared two beautiful girls with Down syndrome. Anya learned to walk at the age of four and went to early schooling. Her mother had a big influence in Anya's life. She taught her to read, write and become independent at a very early age. At the age of five, her mother enrolled her in a dance studio she learned to dance ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop. Anya also became a Girl Scout of America. At the age of fourteen, Anya lost her mother to breast cancer. She went to live with her grandparents and her brother. For the past ten years she has become a very independent young lady. She looks up to her brother Helmuth... he has become both mother and father for her. Anya has a very important friend in her life. They met at the age of three; my daughter Dominique. They have shared many special moments and are now growing together like sisters. Anya has been an inspiration for me. Despite her disability, she has managed to do everything and anything. She manages her daily chores and continues to excel in school with minimum adult supervision. Anya enjoys the movies. She is a great bowler. She goes to school at an adult center. She enjoys being a cheerleader, loves to sing in the talent show, and models in the schools fashion show. She's been to the Hillary Duff and Britney Spears concerts. Anya is a Global messenger for the Special Olympics. She competes in swimming and soccer. She has earned three gold medals and one silver. One day she hopes to have a boyfriend, get married and have a family. I'm honored to have met this beautiful young lady. Her disability has not impaired her ability to function in today's society.