Breanna Robison, born January 4, 1996 * Daughter of Mark and Marji Robison * Sister of Logan Thornton, age 24 (husband Tod); and Alex Robison, age 22 * Aunt of Bryce Thornton, age 1

Mark and Marji Robison and their daughter Breanna have been a part of DSACO since the organization formed. After participating in several of the National Down Syndrome Society’s Buddy Walks in the mid-to-late 1990s, the Robisons became part of a group who banded together and organized a local event to raise awareness close to home during Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Shortly thereafter, DSACO was formally organized and the first board installed in 2000

Living, learning, advocating

The Robisons remain active in DSACO and have watched Breanna grow up with many close friends made through DSACO activities and events.

“DSACO friendships have made such a difference in Breanna’s life,” Marji said.

One of those friends includes Breanna’s boyfriend of six years, Bryson. The couple was introduced thanks to DSACO and, today, Breanna and Bryson attend the same school in Moore, Okla.

DSACO has also helped Mark and Marji become better educated about topics and issues unique to children with Down syndrome and other disabilities. DSACO scholarships have made it possible for them to attend two conferences as well as enroll in a class on Wrightslaw.

All of this has helped remind Marji – constantly – of an undeniable truth.

“It’s normal for a person to be born with Down syndrome,” she said. “When Breanna was first born we felt freakish, like there was something wrong with us. The main support DSACO has given us and to others is reassurance that we are not alone.

Lifelong learning

As Breanna has gotten older and prepares for high school graduation, Marji considers “Now what?” for her daughter.

“We would love to see some continuing education for Breanna, including college courses,” Marji said. “Her learning shouldn’t stop in high school.”

A poignant close

Marji eloquently reminds us all why it is so important for communities to rally around those with special needs and disabilities.

I believe that community is only as strong as its weakest members. It is imperative for us to bring them up and help and support them and – most importantly – expect more of them. If we fail in continuing to do this, these people in our lives will just sit, not doing anything and not realize their full potential.


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