Thursday, May 24, 2007

A Special Fireman wins award for his department

Chickahominy Volunteer Fire Department in Ashland, VA has had Mark, a man with Down Syndrome in their department for years. Now they have a big prize to spend because of an essay written about them by his mother, Winnie Southworth. This type of story warms the heart of a mother with a Down Syndrome child; it gives her hope for her child's future.
Watch the film here.

Read the essay by Winnie Southworth
It is hard to put into words how the men at Hanover Station 10 became my heroes. The feelings I have about them have developed through many experiences. One definition of a hero is someone who is distinguished by exceptional courage and nobility and strength. Most people automatically define firefighters as all of these things. So why is it that I find Station 10 exemplary in their brotherhood? Let me explain….
Many years ago my Down syndrome son Mark saw a program on TV that showed another individual with Down syndrome who got to go with his brother to the firehouse and rode in the ambulance when he went out on calls. Mark got excited and said he could do that, too. My husband was a police officer, my daughter a paramedic. But Mark was adamant about being a firefighter. When I said I didn’t think he would be able to do that, he simply said he would pray. It’s hard to tell your child that they can’t follow their dreams — even when you’re sure they won’t come true. So I let him hope, knowing life would teach whatever lessons needed to be taught.

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