"For me, if I could choose who my father is, I wouldn't think of someone else and I'm proud of him the same way he is proud of me," said the proud son.
Sader Issa, a dentistry student in Syria, couldn't be prouder of his beloved father Jad. Shattering common misconceptions about those with Down Syndrome, Jad raised his son with the utmost devotion, providing him a life filled with love and never leaving him wanting for anything. Wanting to raise awareness about the condition, Sader shared his heartwarming tale of being brought up by his wonderful dad and his candid narrative is an eye-opening testimony on the capabilities of those with Down Syndrome.
Speaking to the Syrian Society for Social Development about his loving father, Sader said, "My father has Down Syndrome. He was a father, a husband, a family leader for 21 years. This is a challenge for many people and many people cannot do this. But for my father, it was easy. A child who grows up in the lab of a person with Down Syndrome will have all the love and tenderness that anyone can offer. This will lead up to a person who has an emotional and social balance and is able to achieve anything he wants. For me, if I could choose who my father is, I wouldn't think of someone else and I'm proud of him the same way he is proud of me."
Sader revealed that his father has always done everything in his power to make sure he would enjoy a life similar to others his age. "During my studies, he was the biggest supporter economically, psychologically, and in all respects," he said. The proud son added that despite individuals with Down Syndrome being "perceived by the community as a vulnerable person or a person who is dependent on the community," his father had worked hard "to do everything to secure everything I need as a small kid."
The dentistry student said that his father's dedication would push him to "do all I can to be the best person for the sake of this person who worked hard" for him as he wanted Jad to be proud of the man he'd raised. Speaking of his parents' marriage, Sader said that "their relationship with each other is a natural relationship between any possible couple. They may disagree sometimes or not. They're having a life full of love, simplicity, and humility in all respects."
Jad is incredibly proud of Sader and all that he's achieved, something he makes sure his son knows. "One of the things I'm proud of is when he introduces me to a new person for the first time and he says, 'My son is a doctor.' You can see the pride and joy in his eyes. It's like he's saying, 'I have Down Syndrome, but I raised my son and did everything to help him become a doctor who treats people. I'm proud of him...'" said Sader.
Speaking of how society's unfair view of those with Down Syndrome, Sader said, "For many people, the idea of a woman pregnant with a Down Syndrome baby may be the worst scenario. You can expect a possible resorting to abortion. If my grandmother was convinced of this idea, I wouldn't be here with you."