ST. MARYS — Demi Doran of St. Marys and her family will take a trip to the Big Apple for her big-screen debut in Times Square Sept. 14.
Demi’s photo was one of 3,000 entries chosen for the National Down Syndrome Society’s annual presentation in Times Square, New York City, Sept. 14. The video, followed by the NDSS Buddy Walk, kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October.
Demi’s mother, Maria Doran, said her 1-year-old daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth.
“While we struggled with the news of it at first, I decided the best way to celebrate her and to help people not be afraid to ask me questions and help educate people was to really advocate for her,” she said.
Doran said she saw the opportunity for Demi’s picture to be featured on the Jumotron in New York City and decided to submit her photo because it was “worth a shot.”
“There was a $5 donation fee, and I figured even if she didn’t get picked, I knew my donation was going toward something near and dear to my heart,” she said.
Doran said what she loves most about her daugher is huge personality, and the ability she has to make anyone fall in love with her.
“I knew I needed to be her voice, and allow everyone to see Demi for Demi, and not just her diagnosis,” she said. “She is, hands down, one extraordinary little girl, and can light up a whole room with just her smile.”
Doran said it’s inspiring to see the number of people who have stood behind Demi and supported their family.
“I’m super grateful to live in a community that comes together to help lift people up,” she said. “She has such an amazing support team behind her, some of whom we’ve never even met. I can confidently say that i know she will succeed in her life and she wont let her diagnosis hold her back.”
Demi’s favorite thing to do is play with her big brother, Cash, Doran said, adding they are going to make a “dynamic duo” growing up together.
Demi was given an extra gift, as far as Doran is concerned.
“She may have 47 chromosomes instead of 46, but I’m fairly certain that extra one is a big part of her heart,” she said. “She will be able to show people love that they never knew they even needed.”