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A Photographer with Down Syndrome Launches His Own Art Gallery

People with Down syndrome can definitely be achievers.
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Geoffrey Mikol has Down syndrome. At 23, he is already a prolific photographer with 10 years of experience behind the camera. To showcase his work, Mikol opened River Bend Gallery in Illinois. This allows him to sell prints of his colorful nature photography.

His story has been going around social media:



Down syndrome is a chromosomal abnormality that is more common than people think. In the United States alone, 6,000 babies with Down syndrome are born yearly, according to the National Down Syndrome Society.
 
It is a misconception that people with Down syndrome live in their own world. They can be jovial and respectful, greeting all sorts of people they meet. With proper coaching, they can function well in school in spite of learning disabilities.

It is sometimes a challenge for a person with Down syndrome to be the best version of his dream. In an article for Al Jazeera, Micheal Bèrubè talks about how his son Jamie “scaled back his hopes [of becoming a marine biologist]” in spite of “amazing cataloguing memory and an insatiable intellectual curiosity about the world.”

As much as a reality check is needed, a reality makeover should also be a priority. Organizations like the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines make this possible. It holds seminars for awareness and sports events for people with the condition.

It is possible for a person with Down syndrome to own a restaurant. People with the condition have been reported to work in service-oriented fields such as sales. And even if they have to disprove a lot of misconceptions along the way, they can definitely be achievers.

(h/t The Mighty, Al Jazeera, Mirror)

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Kwyn Kenaz Aquino
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