Within a day of giving birth to her son 20 years ago, Michelle Hermann was at the library looking for resources. Her son had been diagnosed with Down syndrome and without the internet or a support group, Hermann did not know where to turn.
Fortunately, there is a peer group in the Santa Clarita Valley that exists for exactly that reason—to offer support and resources to families experiencing Down syndrome.
That peer group, called TwentyONEderful, hosted a booth in Westfield Valencia Town Center on Sunday in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, which is on March 21.
“It’s really a day of awareness to bring more acceptance of Down syndrome,” said Kyla Kelly, a parent facilitator with TwentyONEderful and the mother of a 22-month-old son with Down syndrome.
Despite the many obstacles a person with Down syndrome faces, he or she can still remain positive. This was the case for 20-year-old Ean Hermann who was present at the booth on Sunday.
Hermann graduated from Golden Valley High School and also participated in the Special Olympics playing basketball. Despite what may be considered a less than ideal situation, Hermann is making the best of it and bringing joy to people’s lives.
“He has shown unconditional love and happiness that I try to live by,” said Michelle Hermann, Ean’s mom.