Happy Birthday Chris

Today May 15 is the day my son Christopher was born. 5 year ago today, our family held a Celebration of his spectacular life.

Christopher was a special young man. Sweet and kind, resilient and brave, he loved everyone he met. His work on earth was inspirational, as he fought through disability prejudices. Christopher’s entry into the world inspired a movement of disability rights in Nevada and across the country through his family’s activism. He inspired magnificent programs that took shape through the prism of his bluest of blue eyes.

At age 8, Chris saved a toddler who was drowning, he instinctively did the right thing. In special Olympics races, he won gold medals, teaching us all what winning really meant as he stopped midway cheering on friends to cross the finish line with him.

Christopher’s unexpected birth in Canada, along with his Down syndrome diagnosis, brought with it an 18-year battle to gain legal status in the US as political agendas legislated the love of a special child. With Vice President Hubert Humphry as his sponsor and celebrity friends squarely in his corner, he eventually received legal American status. Without knowing it, Christopher raised awareness and the consciousness of an entire community that continues today.

Christopher loved riding his little red go-cart in the circular driveway at home, joyously taking aim at sprinkler heads, while his step dad John spent every weekend for 25 years on hands and knees fixing broken parts. He loved to shred paper at his job at Opportunity Village, loving it so much, he would shred his paycheck! Direct deposit saved the day. He was a “Document Destruction Specialist” who knew better than all of us, that it was not about the paycheck, it was about belonging, and pride in a job well done.

Ride on sweet son, chase the moon and the stars as you watch over all of us from your celestial home. I miss you. Mom.