7-Year-Old With Downs Syndrome Breaks The Mold And Becomes Successful Model
Every mother would feel blessed upon knowing that the baby growing inside her is a little princess. Even though moms would be thankful whether they have a boy or a girl, there is still a different feeling of excitement when it’s a girl. You get to dress her, style her hair, buy her cute clothes and hair clips, and even share makeup with her when she gets a little older.
But when 48-year-old Cheryl Wharton found out that her daughter would be born with Down syndrome, she was heartbroken. She knew that there was such a lot of negativity surrounding kids with Down syndrome. Cheryl cried for hours but after she accepted the sad reality, she and her husband, John, changed their perspective.
Cheryl said, “We got up the next morning and said, ‘She might have Down syndrome, but she’s still going to be our baby.’ And from that point on we just have celebrated every part of her.”
When Grace was born, the Wharton’s were not the only ones who celebrated her birth. Grace became a happy toddler and they never thought that she would be very popular even at school. She became the center of attention despite her condition. Instead of worrying about her difference from the others, she made lots of friends.
At first, her parents worried that she would not be able to live with the struggles that life would bring her. But she proved them wrong.
At 7-years-old, she is doing great. Her mom said, “She just does things at her own pace. I would say Grace’s biggest struggle is probably her speech. People with Down Syndrome have low muscle tone, which also affects the muscles in their mouths. Grace is talking, which we are thrilled about. Sometimes she is hard to understand, but she gets there in the end. And hopefully, her speech continues to improve,” says Cheryl.”
Even Charlotte Williams, Grace’s teacher shared that teaching this little girl is a joy. She said, “I’m really lucky because I’ve had Grace in my class for two years now,” says Williams. “Grace is probably the most popular member of class 5. Everybody wants to be Grace’s friend. She astounds me on a day-to-day basis. She is a bundle of energy and is fiercely independent.”
Among the accomplishments that she achieved in her young life was when she was picked for a modeling contract and her career soared high. Her mom saw a Facebook advertisement that is looking for models with disabilities. Cheryl knew that a photogenic daughter would be perfect. She inquired and they were then invited to bring Grace for a photoshoot. Her mom shared that Grace went to the photo shoot; she walked into the room and twerked in front of everybody! This resulted in a round of laughter from everyone in the room.
Zebedee Management is the agency that hired Grace as their model. This is an agency with a mission to represent individuals with disabilities in fashion, TV, advertising, and even film. Laura Johnson, the agency’s co-founder shared that they immediately knew that Grace would be amazing. She said that in this role, Grace was being adorable and all smiles. She was so full of confidence which is why they picked her because she is one of their success stories.
Grace just loves for her pictures to be taken. Now, she is helping to tell the story and spread awareness about thousands of kids who are born with Down syndrome each year.