My name is Samantha Marcia Stevens, and I live just outside Boston with my mommy and daddy. Even though I’m only 6 years old, I’ve filled my life and the lives of everyone I meet with smiles and happiness. I was born with Down syndrome, but that was not a surprise to my family. They had been told I would probably have Trisomy 21, and they didn’t care. My mom always says she knew there might be challenges but she always wanted me. I don’t walk and talk yet, but I’m trying. My mom says I’ve already shown the doctors who doubted I would ever walk that they may be wrong. I’m able to crawl and get on my knees. I even surprised my mom the other day. She had gone out of my room and I was hungry, so I crawled to my little refrigerator, pulled out my bottle, closed the door and started to drink! Mom thought someone had helped me, but I helped myself. She thinks I am amazing! My daddy loves to read books to me. He sits me on his lap and reads my favorites, like “Splat the Cat.” He holds me up and helps me build my muscles so I can walk. He helps me so much! Sometimes it’s hard to explain what I am feeling or what I want because I can’t talk, but I’m going to school for help with that and trying really hard. I’ve learned how to use my hands to express myself, and now I’m really good at pointing to flash cards to show what I want. It makes me sooo happy. Music makes me happy too. My parents always listen to music, even when I was in my mommy’s tummy. And when I was born, they played the classical station all the time. I love to play the piano and sing songs with my classmates when it’s “circle time” at school. All the kids are good to me, and my older brother Brian is especially nice. Sometimes he watches me and plays with me while my mom goes into another room to get something. I know I’m loved and that my parents think about my future. My mom says she hopes I’ll “always have people around to help” so that nobody can push me around. She believes I help everyone around me be a better person. Lots of kids with Down syndrome do get pushed around, and we need to help them. Supporting Global Down Syndrome Foundation will help them! But we need to start with the belief that we are all differently-abled and equal. Being different can be scary, but it is beautiful too. My mom always tells other families who have children with Down syndrome, “Don’t get frustrated; the end result is well worth your love and patience.” My name is Samantha Marcia Stevens, this is my story, and I am worth it. To view the tribute video for Samantha Marcia Stevens from the 2012 Be Beautiful Be Yourself Fashion Show, click here.