The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
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New York New York 10012

Strength through Faith
Group after the First Communion
Group after the First Communion
Strength through Faith

My story begins in a church setting. I have been an altar server since I was in the sixth grade. I started to serve with a young man named Eric Schultz, who has Down syndrome, and his older brother Jerry a few years after starting to serve. I got to know the both of them, and when Jerry was leaving for school, Eric and his parents asked me to serve with him permanently. I was honored. Eric serves better than many of the servers without any disabilities. And he always has a smile on his face. He only needs a bit of encouragement and I am grateful to be the one to give it to him. Through my work with Eric, I was exposed to one of the most moving ceremonies I have ever witnessed. Eric was asked to serve a first communion for other children with Down syndrome. I watched all of them take the body of Christ for the first time, and it brought tears to my eyes. I have never been more impressed. Eric has taught me lessons in life that I would never have learned on my own. He has showed me that an obstacle, no matter how large, can be overcome by faith. Eric has become a little brother to me, and I will love him forever.

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