'Real Friends Don't Count Chromosomes:' A Boy with Down Syndrome Breaks it Down (PHOTOS)

Real friends don't count chromosome
Josh and Grace break it all down

Earlier this month, a little girl in New Jersey named Amelia Rivera was denied a kidney transplant because she suffers from a rare genetic disease, Wolf-Hirschhorn Syndrome, which affects her cognitive abilities and can lead to organ failure. A debate on denying organ transplants to people who are considered mentally disabled rages on.

In the meantime, a young woman and her brother, who has Down syndrome, are doing their part to let people know that people with genetic differences aren’t actually all that different, and have feelings as well.

Grace Curley, 20, and her younger brother, Josh, 18, posted a series of photos of themselves on Facebook holding note cards explaining how Josh is actually just like you and your friends. They live in a tiny town in Ontario called Paris, and Grace was hoping that the photos would reach all of her friends and encourage them to stop using the word “retarded.”

Grab a Kleenex, take a look at the photos and maybe think again about what you’ve always believed to be true regarding people who might look a little different on the outside, or even have some differences on the inside:


  • Josh & Grace 1 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    My name is Josh and I'm 18-years-old!
  • Josh & Grace 2 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    This is my best friend and big sister Grace.
  • Josh & Grace 3 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    Some say I have a disability . . .
  • Josh & Grace 4 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    Grace says I have a disability that many are jealous of . . .
  • Josh & Grace 5 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    the ability to love unconditionally, be non-judgmental
  • Josh & Grace 6 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    And I'm not afraid to be me.
  • Josh & Grace 7 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    I have Down syndrome.
  • Josh & Grace 8 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    I have an extra chromosome.
  • Josh & Grace 9 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    Grace says, "Real friends don't count chromosomes."
  • Josh & Grace 10 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    People sometimes use really mean words but A LOT of people love me.
  • Josh & Grace 11 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    These mean words hurt, but don't describe me at all.
  • Josh & Grace 12 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    I am . . . silly
  • Josh & Grace 13 of 18
    Josh & Grace
  • Josh & Grace 14 of 18
    Josh & Grace
  • Josh & Grace 15 of 18
    Josh & Grace
  • Josh & Grace 16 of 18
    Josh & Grace
  • Josh & Grace 17 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    And I have feelings just like you and your friends.
  • Josh & Grace 18 of 18
    Josh & Grace
    I'll give you a chance if you give me one, too.

All images courtesy of Grace Curley

Follow Meredith Carroll on Twitter

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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