Michael Qing

Posted in Our Stories

Our son, Michael, always greets us with a big smile in the morning. “You are my good-morning sun shine”, I tell him. Michael is a 14 year old, grade 8 student at W.S. Hawrylak School in Regina, and he has Down syndrome. Michael was a year old when we learned he has Down syndrome. My husband and I were young new parents, and we didn’t know anything about the condition at the time. We had a hard time adjusting to the news and we did not know how to share it with our friends and relatives. We were so lucky to receive lots of help from Ups and Downs organization in Calgary and we were very grateful to the families who were there to share their wealth knowledge and experiences with us. Michael is a healthy, happy and lovable boy. He enjoys inclusive education at school and participates in community activities as much as he could. We were very proud of him when he reached his big milestones, such as walking, running, swimming, skiing, skating, riding a bike, reading and writing. Michael has changed our view of life. In the past 14 years, he has taught us the true meaning and value of life. He has taught us about patience, tolerance, kindness, development and learning disabilities. He has also educated us about commitment, determination, and diligence. Michael always applies maximum effort to reach his maximum potential and improvement. He has surprised us by challenging his physical and mental disabilities, stretching the limitations, and achieving his personal goals at his own pace. Michael loves sports, especially competitive swimming. He has been training 2-3 hours almost every day and attended more than 35 swimming meets for the past three years, including 2005 Canada Summer Games, 2006 SWAD CAN-AM Meet, 2006 Western Canadian Championships, 2006 Special Olympic Canada Summer Games and many interprovincial meets. He beats his personal best times seconds by seconds in the meets. Through his hard work and determination, he has been chosen to be Team Canada training squad to represent Canada for 2007 Special Olympic World Games in Shanghai. At age of 14, he already has 15 Down syndrome swimming World Records. Having a child with Down syndrome is challenging, but the experience has also been very rewarding. Because of Michael, we have met so many wonderful people and families in Calgary and Regina where we have been living for seven years. The Regina and District Association for Community Living, the Saskatchewan Family Network, Saskatchewan Down Syndrome Society, and Special Olympics have been very helpful to get us where we are today. We understand there are many hurdles in front of Michael. We do not know what his future would be and we do not waste our energy to plan his future for him. Our goal for Michael is to achieve his maximum potential on his way of continuing his education, participating in and contributing to community life, developing friendships, and pursuing his dreams of unlimited potential.