Let's Get Reacquainted

Hi, I’m Marla! Remember me? LOL!
I know it has been a while…I have been busy, let’s just start there!
2017 was a whirlwind year of accomplishing great things, meeting amazing people and doing what I love – advocacy and inspiring others.
2017 in a quick minute:
March 2017 – I was accepted to be a speaker at the United Nations for World Down Syndrome Day. What an amazing experience to be able to do what I love, advocating and bringing awareness on the global stage.  Click here to read more about my wonderful day!
April 2017 –  I had the amazing opportunity to accept a job as an Interim Executive Director for a non-profit, LuMind RDS, that does research to develop treatments that will improve learning, memory, and speech, and therefore enhance the lives of those with Down syndrome and their families.
October 2017 – Down Syndrome Awareness Month. I had the opportunity to go to Washington, DC as part of the first National Down Syndrome Society Leadership Summit. I was invited along with self-advocates, ambassadors and leaders all over the country to spread awareness and announce the new legislative campaign aimed at breaking down barriers to employment for all individuals with Down syndrome, called “Law Syndrome.”  I was awarded the WEGO Health “Advocating for Another Award” in Virginia in front of my husband and my son. I am so blessed to be recognized for something I am so passionate about, advocating for my son and for all individuals with Down syndrome.
WHEW! Right?
2017 was a fantastic year!
I am eager to set my goals in motion for 2018 and I want to share some exciting things I have planned!

  1. Speaking – I am looking forward to doing more speaking for organizations, conferences, mom groups or to be interviewed for tv or newspapers.
  2. Publish my children’s book – if you are not following my son’s travel website you may want to follow us at Adventures With A Special Traveler to hear when my book will be launched.
  3. Launch our Non Profit! – if you are not following us on our Facebook page Special & Determined to make sure to start following us to learn about when our new non-profit will launch (the goal is by World Down Syndrome Day in March)!
  4. Launch my Podcast – Please stay tuned for a new podcast show.

First, let’s start with what is coming up later this month, I am starting a mini-series, Feel Good February. Stay tuned!
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!! March 21st is observed by the United Nation as World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). It’s a day of celebration, a day to bring awareness, and education to society, and spread acceptance for the lives and abilities of all individuals with Down Syndrome.
As a Down Syndrome Mom Advocate, Speaker, Author, and blogger, but more importantly a mother of a beautiful, determined 11-year-old son with Down Syndrome, I wanted to create an awareness campaign to celebrate all individuals with Down syndrome.
A campaign that will educate society on the importance of inclusion, employment, education, family, dreams, abilities and just being valued as a member of a community. A campaign that brings awareness for inclusion and acceptance. “What Does World Down Syndrome Means 2 U” is an awareness campaign in which self-advocates, parents, siblings, friends, coaches, teachers, therapists, employers, doctors or anyone who has been blessed to know, work, teach, or care for an individual with Down Syndrome can share a 3-minute video of what this important day means to do.
For the next month, I will be collecting videos for my website with the intent of launching this awareness campaign the week of March 19th for the world to see. Video submissions will be taken until March 16, 2018.

2018 is off to a great start but I have more to come!
Please join our private Facebook group and stay connected with other like-minded Moms.
Talk to you soon – I promise!
– Marla

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