If there was only one word to describe Daniel, it would be “joy.” A kind-hearted, fun-loving kid, Daniel has a warm personality, loves to interact with people, and forms lasting relationships wherever he goes.
At only 21 weeks gestation, Daniel’s parents learned their son would be born with Down syndrome, which enabled them to plan for some of the special needs Daniel would have. He has low muscle tone and has developed more slowly than his other peers, including not walking until age 3. Daniel also learns more slowly than his peers, so he participates in the special education program at Roosevelt High School where he is a sophomore.
“Daniel embraces the fact that he has Down syndrome,” says his mom Margie. “His openness has taught many people that he is more alike than different from them. We joke that his extra 21st chromosome gives him an extra capacity for love!”
Daniel’s genuine concern for people has allowed him to form many life-long friendships with a wide range of ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. He has also formed many friendships through his participation in Best Buddies, Miracle League, Special Olympics, and the boys’ basketball team, of which he was the manager during his freshman year of high school. Daniel’s friendliness has also created a wonderful circle of friends for himself and his family through the special needs community.
“Daniel has the wonderful ability to ‘read hearts,’” says Margie. “He doesn’t judge people based on outer appearances. Our family has been truly blessed by Daniel and the fact we have a special needs child.”
Daniel enjoys spending time with his mom, dad and brother William. He also likes to hang out with his friends, either in person or via text! He loves music and playing basketball and baseball. He also really likes to watch Iowa State football and basketball games. Daniel is very excited to meet the players and attend the game. He is telling everyone he meets that he will be a Kid Captain!