If you only knew me.
If you only knew my dreams, my goals, and what I am capable of...
If you only knew how I feel about you, how beautiful you are, how I think you are such a nice person.
How I love my family more than anything in this world.
How I am a really good athlete:
How I can score a soccer goal.
I am a really fast swimmer and I can even throw a softball 50 feet!
You should see how well I do in school.
I'm a good writer, matter of fact, I love to write letters. I might even write you a love letter.
I am really good at arithmetic and am a creative artist, you should see my drawings!
I am also really sensitive.
I can tell by the way you look at me you see me as different, "not able", maybe inferior to you...
It hurts my feelings when you make fun of me, when you call me "retarded" or "stupid."
It kills my confidence when you say hurtful things to me.
Sometimes you make me cry, sometimes you make me run and hide, sometimes I sit by myself and wonder what I did to make you so mad at me.
I wish you would give me a chance.
I wish you would spend time with me.
If you only knew me, you would love me.
Meeting "Jimmy" more than 20 years ago changed my life. Not only did I become a spokesperson for Special Olympics, I became an advocate for every human being with Down syndrome.
I hope you'll help me, HuffPost Parents, Julie Cole of Mabel's Labels and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation in a special social media push to RAISE AMERICA and RAISE AWARENESS on Thursday, Sept. 26 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Click here to RSVP and help spread the word. All you have to do to participate is use the hashtag #RaisingAmerica in your tweets.
And I hope you will get to know someone with Down syndrome.
It will change your life.
It changed mine.