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After 32 Years, McDonald's Employee With Down Syndrome Is Officially Retiring

Freia David is a local celebrity in Needham, Massachusetts. She has been the fry girl at the local McDonald's for the past 32 years.

But on August 29th, she turned in her apron and become an official retiree.

David started at McDonald's in 1984 through a program to place adults with cognitive disabilities in community jobs.

Freia loved all aspects of her job right away. She cleaned tables, wiped counters, filled ketchup, and greeted every customer happily. When she got her chance at the french-fry station, it was a match made in heaven. Freia spent 32 years frying, salting, and boxing fries for 5 days a week and even came back with her mom on Saturdays to enjoy lunch. But recently, Freia's mother started to notice her daughter becoming more forgetful. With early on-set dementia common among people with down-syndrome, it was becoming unsafe for Freia to continue working with a deep-fryer.

In honor of her retirement, the Needham McDonald's offered free fries and cake to family, friends, and regular customers.

Freia is an inspiration for all those at The Charles River Center, where she has lived for many years.

Freia and her mother have been offered free meals for life by Bob Broughton, operations director for the franchise group that includes the Needham location.

"Freia, thank you so much for being part of our family," he said. "We love you, we appreciate you, we respect you, and we're all better people for having you in our lives."

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