She’s My Daughter, Not a Disease

Dear CNN Reporter

I understand how it happened. You’re busy! You have a million deadlines! You didn’t think, you just wrote.

But that’s not my daughter’s fault.


Today, a story written by you, posted on, referred to Down syndrome as a disease. Your job is to report facts. Here’s a fact: Down syndrome is NOT a disease!

My daughter, Willow, is not sick. We’re not in search of a cure. We aren’t looking to ease any symptoms. She simply has an extra chromosome. It’s part of who she is, not something she’s fighting.

The story you wrote actually talked about something that holds great promise for my daughter. It referred to a study involving green tea and how a compound found in it could boost memory and speech in individuals with Down syndrome. The idea behind the study is not to cure Down syndrome, but to help individuals with an extra chromosome reach their fullest potential. Your mistake distorted that fact.

I admit, it was an easy mistake to make. That’s because the article also referenced real diseases like Alzheimer’s. I assume you just assumed Down syndrome fell under that category?

It doesn’t.

People should fear Alzheimer’s. People should fear cancer. People should fear disease. People should NOT fear Down syndrome. I ask you, does this look scary?


I suppose I should mention that I once was a journalist like you. I understand mistakes happen. I just wish this mistake didn’t hurt so much. Your typo, your blunder, whatever you want to call it, caused me to lose a bit of hope. Hope, that our world is changing. Hope, that the road ahead for my daughter won’t be as scary as I think.

Please know that I forgive you. I’m not perfect either. But, my daughter? She is. Trust me. I wouldn’t change a single thing about her. And if you knew her, I think you’d agree. But, then again, if you knew her, this letter would never need to be written.

God bless,

Willow’s mom




2 thoughts on “She’s My Daughter, Not a Disease

  1. Oh, I love this letter with all my heart! You are simultaneously gentle and forgiving while fiercely defending your beautiful daughter, as any parent should. And I have to agree with your statement, Willow is perfect! YOU GO MOMMA!!!

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