Every parent wants to see their children succeed in life, but developmental challenges can sometimes act as barriers. It's not that these kids are any less deserving or capable of succeeding, because that's not true at all, but the world often overlooks those who are different from themselves.
One in every 700 babies born in the United States each year have Down Syndrome, but having twins with the chromosomal disorder is literally one in a million. Nardy Lattanzio of Basingstoke, England is one of those parents.
Her daughters, Hannah and Rachel, were diagnosed with Down Syndrome at three weeks old, but no one saw it coming. Nardy's prenatal pregnancy checkups never indicated any symptoms of the condition, and even after they were born no one suspected a thing.
"We had scans every two weeks, and nothing was picked up at the scans. Their hearts are perfect, and that's the most common problem," Nardy explained. "Doctors didn't have any concerns. It was about three weeks after they were born that they were diagnosed. It was a little bit hard at first but we overcame the situation. It took a few months to adjust to the news. From that moment, we were learning."
Despite her daughters' diagnosis, Nardy says Rachel and Hannah are blessings to have.
"So far raising twins has been hard, like harder than running a marathon - but caring for our twins brings us great joy," Nardy said. "We enjoy how they bond together, and celebrate when they reach a milestone at their own pace. They are lovely - they are not defined by the condition. At the moment they are crawling and standing up. They are very mobile and active."
Nardy and her husband, Enzo, have three other children who love to help with the twins.
"Our other children are showing them how to do everything. It takes time to learn things, but eventually they get to their milestones," Nardy said.
Both twins were born hard of hearing and are learning sign language. Their parents are determined to send them to a mainstream school, however.
"Their learning is slightly slower - when you communicate with sign language, they understand better," Nardy explained. "You can communicate with your hands. With typical babies, they learn signs before they can speak. We plan a normal life for them, with sports, anything that can get them involved."
Hannah and Rachel are already getting involved, and were given modeling contracts with Zebedee Management.
“My husband and I have great expectations to reach their full potential (according to) their future talents and we’re working to give them the right opportunities in life,” she said.
“They won’t be defined by Down syndrome but as girls with great capabilities, self-worth — feeling good about themselves.”
We know that Hannah and Rachel have amazing futures ahead of them!
[H/T: Daily Mail]