Disability Issues

Mom, 91, writes book about raising son with Down syndrome

Friday, January 25, 2013

Marjorie Sullivan Lee, 91, raised a child with Down syndrome when there was little information about cognitive disabilities available to families.

She and her son, Kevin, 52, are housemates.

"I think Kevin, my son, keeps me going. I joke about the fact that it's nice to be needed and that keeps me healthy," Marjorie said.

"I do everything with my mom, like chores around the house and running errands in the afternoon," Kevin said.

"He could keep the house by himself and one of my intents really has been that if I were to suddenly depart from this world I would like to see Kevin continue to life here," Marjorie said.

Children who are born with Down syndrome have heart defects, and were not expected to live long.

"So, many early deaths resulted from the defective hearts but as modern medicine and have been doing more things," Marjorie said. "Kevin had an aortic valve replacement 13 years ago and it did a good job for him."

Because there weren't many resources available for parents of children with Down syndrome when Kevin was born, Marjorie got the idea to write a book.

"Because I felt that when we were introduced to the world of down syndrome there was very little information available and not very much encouragement," she said. "But I got busy raising six kids and I dove so deeply into the world of disabilities that I lead a pretty busy life outside of the family as well."

Last year, Marjorie finished her book, "Bloom Where You Are Planted," a story of family love for a special person. It carries the message that life with Down syndrome is OK.

"I'm marketing it mainly to families who already have people with disabilities, young children, hoping that they will feel optimistic about the future of their child," Marjorie.

"I say I'm happy for my mother writing that book about me. I'm proud and I've got one big happy family," Kevin said.

Marjorie Sullivan Le's book, "Bloom Where You Are Planted" is available online at tau-publishing.com

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