Woman born with Down Syndrome defies the odds

Woman born with Down Syndrome defies the odds

Shéri Brynard has won several awards for the incredible work she has done as a woman living with Down Syndrome; continuously inspiring many with the same condition she has.

Sherie Brynard
Sherie Brynard/ iStock

One in 1,000 babies born in developed countries and 1 in 650 babies born in developing countries are affected by Down Syndrome, states the South African government

Down Syndrome is a health condition that occurs when a person has an extra copy of chromosome 21. 

One of the challenges with living with Down Syndrome is stigma from society. Many people who live with the condition are teased and sometimes it causes problems for them in school. 

Shéri Brynard was born with Down Syndrome and has had to deal with stigma. 

In an interview with Beautiful News, she explained how her parents were told that she wouldn't live for long. This is despite statistics showing that people with Down Syndrome can live for up to 55 years. 

“People told my mother not to worry because we don’t live long,” said Brynard. She added: “Life and death is not in our hands, but what we do with our lives."

Brynard went on to prove those who put limitations on people with Down Syndrome wrong. 

She became the only person in the world with Down Syndrome to qualify for a tertiary teacher’s diploma without any concessions being made for her. She obtained the qualification at Motheo College in Bloemfontein. 

READ: What is Down Syndrome?

She has also received several awards, including: The President’s Award, World Down Syndrome Day Award, as well as the Shoprite Checkers South African Woman of the Year Award. 

“I was the first person with a disability to win this competition,” Brynard told Beautiful News. 

Today, Brynard is a motivational speaker and has been engaged in speaking engagements all over the world, even addressing the United Nations in Geneva. 

Brynard is a proud author. She has an autobiography called, 'Shéri: Just the Way I Am'. 

“I could not believe it when I saw my book on the shelves,” Brynard told the publication. 

She has encouraged people to not allow anything to be a stumbling block to their success. 

“Success is measured against oneself,” she said. 

READ: Mattel unveils Barbie doll with Down syndrome

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Image courtesy of Beautiful News. 

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