LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – 1-year-old Abigail Brubaker of Lancaster was born with Down syndrome.
“We found out that she most likely had Down’s syndrome when we were 11 weeks pregnant. It was pretty early and that’s a journey, in itself,” said Abigail’s mom Jillian Brubaker.
When Jillian found out, doctors told her she had multiple options but for her, there was only one.
“She’s such a joy to our life and she’s brought so many gifts to our lives and to our hearts. And to think of her not being here, it’s, it’s really an emotional thing to think that she may not have been here with us,” said Jillian.
As Jillian started doing research about Down syndrome, she came across the National Down Syndrome Society and their Annual Times Square video presentation.
“So, every year around this time in September, they do a big presentation in Times Square where they take over Times Square and they feature photos of children and adults and individuals living with Down syndrome. And it just seemed like something so beautiful, and I thought, why not submit Abby’s photo? I mean, is she going to get selected? Probably not. But we’ll just submit it anyways and she did get selected,” said Jillian.
Abigail was one of the 500 people picked from the more than 2,400 entries and will be featured in Times Square on September 9th. But for the Brubaker’s there’s a bigger message.
“If you’re in the boat or you’re pregnant and you’ve received the news, of a potential diagnosis for Down’s syndrome, I want to say congratulations. I don’t, you know, like that. What we’re told is, ‘I’m sorry.’ I have bad news to give you, right? Like the message should change. It should be congratulations,” said Jillian.
“For me, it’s just kind of showing that there just like everybody else they just have something special about them and they’re to be loved and cherished and celebrated just like anybody else is or should be. So, to just raise awareness to that, that just don’t write them off because of whatever disability they may or may not have,” said Abigail’s dad John Brubaker.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 6,000 babies in the United States are born with Down syndrome.