A young woman has inspired Minnesota, and now the world, by proving people with Down syndrome can accomplish great things. She has a message for parents whose doctors diagnose their babies with the condition.
Mikayla Holmgren, 22, of Stillwater, Minnesota, was born prematurely. Doctors informed her parents, Craig and Sandi, that she would likely never talk or walk. Sandi stated the family's philosophy was to view Mikayla as their child first, and a child with Down syndrome second.
Mikayla defied and exceeded expectations by talking and walking. At the age of six, she began dancing.
Her latest accomplishment was competing in Minnesota's Miss America pageant doing one of her dance routines. She didn't win the pageant, but did win the Miss USA Award and the Director's Award.
"I feel really excited and it's mostly for my family," Mikayla tells OneNewsNow. "It's a big deal."
Most important, she said, was the encouragement she got from her family.
OneNewsNow pointed out that statistics show the majority of preborn babies with Down syndrome are aborted. Mikayla said that robs them of their chance to live, dream, and pursue those dreams.
Mikayla, who is attending Bethel University, is the first Down syndrome contestant to ever participate in a Miss USA competition; she is a trailblazer and an inspiration to others with Down syndrome.