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Another inspiring story not to be missed

August 16, 2015

This was posted as a reblog from my Google blog by the Huffington post today as another like Jamie Brewer named Madeline Stuart blazes her path in New York’s Fashion Week . My hope was that it kept inspiring others with special needs to make  their own path. Both of their stories were below.

Madeline Stuart, 18-Year-Old Model With Down Syndrome, Will Walk In NYFW

In just one year, Madeline Stuart, an 18-year-old with Down syndrome, has become the face of two fashion campaigns. Now the Australia native is set to walk in New York Fashion Week on September 13.

When we were asked to do New York Fashion Week, it didn’t surprise me,” said her mother, Rosanne Stuart, in an interview with Cosmopolitan. “I don’t think anything really surprises me anymore. She’s been asked to do a lot of stuff and I was hoping to she’d get asked to do NYFW but I assumed it would happen. I hope that doesn’t sound too pretentious.”

Stuart will walk the runway in a Moda show in association with the Christopher Reeve Foundation. The Italian fashion label previously featured models with disabilities in its show at NYFW in February, just after Jamie Brewer became the first model with Down syndrome to walk down the runway at Carrie Hammer.

In an interview with The Huffington Post last month, Stuart discussed how she and her daughter select which brands to work with. “We want to keep working for smaller companies, charitable companies or start-up companies so we can continue to help people,” she said. “We really believe in inclusion, so that means everyone as long as it is within our beliefs and morals.”

Though she’s on her way to model at one of the most important fashion events of the year, the 18-year-old is just your average teen when she’s not working. “Madeline loves playing sports: We are pretty much playing sports every day of the week, and if she is not playing sports, she is hanging out with her friends or chilling on the iPad,” her mom told HuffPost.

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Breaking Barriers: Two that made their mark

There were two people that made history this week, Jamie Brewer, who was to be the first woman with Down Syndrome to walk the runway during fashion week in New York and Carmen Dell ‘Orefice, the first 83 year old supermodel to still be in the business. Why was this so important? Because Jamie was a mentally challenged adult with talent and looks to do so.  Carmen Dell ‘Orefice took a stand for age.

This excited me because a lot of people with this type of challenge were stepping out. Not all were able to be models, but some went further than their day programs and jobs in closed shops. A few on the high end of this condition were even able to drive a car as discovered by me while watching a news program as a teenager.  For some, like my physical therapist on base, found it difficult to understand.

Most of the time some sort of group home or care facility would be their destination, but not for one actress, named Andrea Fay Friedman, who appeared in an episode of “Family Guy” –a parody spoofing Sarah Palin’s son, Trig.  Also, she appeared in an episode of “Law & Order : SVU”  as a special needs adult that got pregnant When a news magazine did a story on her, it was discovered that she drove a car.

After reading about Chris Burke’s start in acting, he inspired me also after seeing him on “Life Goes On” The role was made for him.

Ms. Dell ‘Orefice admitted after so long in the business that she was still navigating the manual on her job. Based on what was viewed by me, it looked like there was no problem. Being realistic, about it assignments start fading after a certain plateau was reached. Christie Brinkley stopped modeling bathing suits at 38. Even though Linda Evans was the new face at 40 in the 1980s, roles started to fade because Hollywood was for the young.  Like these women, my mother is a very beautiful. To put labels like geriatric, old, or elder was an offense to me and them.

It was awesome to see these people make a stand.

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One Comment
  1. Way to go, Madeline Stuart!

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