It is not often that local children get recognized internationally, but just like everything else in her life, Aubrey Paige McGranahan has achieved that goal and other goals that many thought she would never be able to achieve.
Aubrey, from Minford is one 33 International Ambassadors from across the globe with Down syndrome to be chosen to represent Nothing Down in their mission to show the world the potential of individuals with Down syndrome. Nothing Down is an organization aiming to change the way the world views Down syndrome.
Aubrey, along with the 32 other children has been chosen to represent and assist the organization through community outreach and social media promotion for the duration of 2019. The mission of Nothing Down is to provide support, advocacy, education and opportunities for individuals and families that have been touched by Down syndrome. They aim to change the way the world views Down syndrome and eliminate the stigmas that are often associated with disabilities. Nothing Down ambassadors and their families support the organization’s mission and assist in educating the public on the potential and abilities of individuals with Down syndrome.
Aubrey Paige McGranahan was born on August 17, 2017, at 32 weeks and only weighing 2 pounds to Anna and Miles McGranahan. She spent 93 days in the NICU, has had two open heart surgeries as well as a recent hernia surgery.
Her mother says of her daughter, “Aubrey does have Down syndrome, but there’s nothing stopping her from following her dreams and achieving her goals!” Anna says that Aubrey loves to be in front of the camera. Before being chosen as an ambassador, Aubrey was also chosen by the Nothing Down organization to be in their 2019 calendar and her mother says it fits because, “She loves dressing up.”
Her mother Anna says that as part of the ambassador role, they are having a fundraiser next month for Down Syndrome Day. The job of ambassador is fundraisers and attending events for the Nothing Down Organization. The family is to also post Aubrey’s journey, like what she does and has been through.
The Nothing Down group is a group of moms that help each other while raising a child with down syndrome and Anna says they didn’t find the group at first. Anna was only 18 years old when she had Aubrey and at 15 weeks, the doctors said that she was not going to live and they gave her a choice of what to do. She said she didn’t know anyone with a child with Down Syndrome and she didn’t know what she was in for. “Obviously, I was going to keep her, it was a harsh diagnosis, but we have had a lot of support from family and Jacinda Rader, owner of Minford Dairy Bar, has offered a lot of help, she did one of Aubrey’s fundraisers. We’ve had a lot of help and support, but it’s been really good because it’s been hard.”
As for challenges, Anna says, “there have been some challenges, especially when she was born and being in the NICU and we still do three days of therapy with her and that keeps us busy,” she said. “Aubrey has seen tons and tons of different specialists at Children’s Hospital. For the most part, she’s doing great right now. All the things that they told us she couldn’t do, or wouldn’t do, she has done, like they thought she wouldn’t come out breathing, but she came out breathing.”
In June, the family is going on the Nothing Down annual Buddy Walk in New Jersey. This event raises awareness and funds for programs that benefit people with Down syndrome and their families. ”
Nothing Down announced the application process for their Ambassador Program in early December. They received well over 500 applications, coming from 45 states and 15 international countries. Aubrey and the 32 fellow ambassadors were announced through a slideshow on the Nothing Down Facebook page. To keep up with the ambassadors and their mission, follow along at www.facebook.com/nothingdown or www.nothingdown.org. Their web pages say, “Showing the world there is Nothing Down about Down syndrome!”
In addition, Nothing Down runs several programs- Blessing Baskets of Hope, supporting new and expectant parents of babies with Down syndrome, and a National School Awareness program that celebrates differences and fosters acceptance. The organization states, “Every year in the United States, approximately 6,000 babies are born with Down syndrome. We want to welcome each and every one of them with one of our Blessing Baskets of Hope.” The organization produces documentaries, viral photo and video projects, an annual calendar, and social media campaigns that highlight the promise and beauty of individuals with Down syndrome.
Finally, when her mother was asked to describe Aubrey she quickly answered with, “She’s a fighter and she’s never given up.”
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928