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Your Stories

February 25, 2015 | North America: Pennsylvania

Proud aunt of 2 nieces with designer genes!!!

By Maggie Shearn

Retarded, retard, a word that just simply rolls out of our mouths. Yes, I am guilty of using this word until God blessed our family with Katie who is 6, and Madeline who is 3. Both sisters, both having Down syndrome.View Story ▼Retarded, retard, a word that just simply rolls out of our mouths. Yes, I am guilty of using this word until God blessed our family with Katie who is 6, and Madeline who is 3. Both sisters, both having Down syndrome. The ignorance of people who look at these children while we are in public is unbelievable. Some just stare, some just walk past you fast as to say, "I don't want to catch what they have!" It breaks my heart knowing the repercussions of their disability will always be the public's use of the "R" word. A word they have no idea what it means right now, but their two older siblings do. Unfortunately, they have to hear this word in school, on the bus, and in public places. Yet, they hold their heads high, and protect their sisters. As their aunt, I am so proud of these 4 children, and that is why I'm telling my story to help spread the word to end the use of the "R" word. Please join me and help educate people that words do hurt, especially the use of the "R" word! Thank You

About Maggie Shearn:Proud aunt of two nieces with designer genes!
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February 25, 2015 | North America: Wisconsin

VARC, Inc. Partners with local Schools to Promote "Spread the Word" Campaign

By Liz Filter, Director of Rehabilitation

On February 24, 2015, VARC, Inc., located in Wisconsin, invited area school districts to discuss living a message of respect toward people of all ability levels.View Story ▼On February 24, 2015, VARC, Inc., located in Wisconsin, invited area school districts to discuss living a message of respect toward people of all ability levels. The students and faculty got a chance to tour VARC and were presented with "Spread the Word" posters by two of VARC's client counsel members. VARC provides services toward people with varying abilities throughout the Wisconsin and have committed to "spread the word" about valuing and respecting the contributions that all individuals make toward their communities.

About Liz Filter, Director of Rehabilitation:VARC provides services toward people with varying abilities in WI, and has committed to "spread the word" about valuing and respecting the contributions that all individuals make in their communities.
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February 24, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

Easy Organization Tracking on Spread the Word Day March 4

By Will Schermerhorn

Putting "MyOrganization" into the pledge form URL using this format, "?org=MyOrganization" will fill in the Organization input field and also a hidden field.

On Spread the Word to End the Word Day, schools and other organizations often rally lots of people to pledge to stop using the R-word. A new feature on the R-word.org site is the ability to ensure an organization's efforts are tracked.View Story ▼On Spread the Word to End the Word Day, schools and other organizations often rally lots of people to pledge to stop using the R-word. A new feature on the R-word.org site is the ability to ensure an organization's efforts are tracked. Any organization can use a URL in this style: http://staging.r-word.org/r-word-pledge.aspx?org=MyOrganization. Any words put in place of "MyOrganization" will automatically fill in on the pledge form. (Try it! Put different words in the URL yourself to see how it works.) It also fills in a hidden input field that pledge takers cannot change. You can share this information with local schools and organizations. After Spread The Word Day is done, we can get reports on the number of pledges that can be attributed to different organizations.

About Will Schermerhorn:I am the director of web products for Special Olympics.
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February 23, 2015 | North America: Pennsylvania

Our Four Beautiful, Brave Children

By Kathleen Zajicek

Our younger kids are not aware enough yet to understand, but they will someday, and it breaks my heart to think they may be called this someday and be hurt, and it hurts me so much that my older children have now heard this word for the first time this year on their school bus and came home so upset and not knowing what to do or say to protect their little sisters.View Story ▼We have four children, a 10-year-old daughter, a 9-year-old son , a 6-year-old daughter and a 3-year-old daughter. Our two youngest happen to have Down syndrome. Although faced with many challenges, we are a normal family who loves each other, sticks up for each other and have a lot of fun and laughter together! It is hurtful to me, my husband and our two older children to hear the R word. Our younger kids are not aware enough yet to understand, but they will someday, and it breaks my heart to think they may be called this someday and be hurt, and it hurts me so much that my older children have now heard this word for the first time this year on their school bus and came home so upset and not knowing what to do or say to protect their little sisters. So this is why this is so importan , it can affect so many people, and shouldn't have to. So we need to get the word out there and educate people on this and that is not ok to use the R word. I don't believe everyone who uses it realizes how hurtful it is.

About Kathleen Zajicek:I am a nurse, a wife, and a mother of 4 beautiful children, 10yo, 9yo, 6yo, and 3yo, of which my youngest have Down syndrome.
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February 23, 2015 | North America: Pennsylvania

Stay strong

By Riley zajicek

I pledged to not say the R-word because I won't let a silly word bring down my little sisters. So I want to share my story with you. Both of my little sisters have Down syndrome.View Story ▼I pledged to not say the R-word because I won't let a silly word bring down my little sisters. So I want to share my story with you. Both of my little sisters have Down syndrome; they are the cutest people I ever saw they are sweet & too young to realize what will have to be done in the future. My one little sister Madeline also has cancer at age 3. During chemo therapy she began losing hair I remember there was always this little piece of hair that would not fall out. While she was in the middle of her therapy she was always happy. But you could tell when she wasn't feeling good. Now she is done and at home in remission her hair is growing back and she is crazy. My other little sister Katie watches my brother Joey play hockey outside & she says she wants to play someday. Katie is so innocent she has a bad back were trying to fix it but it's not that easy. At age 6 she's still in a stroller and some day she's going to have to get a wheelchair. When she was 5 months old she got heart surgery.

About Riley zajicek:Hi my name is Riley Zajicek & I have 2 sisters & 1 brother my 2 sisters both have Down syndrome & the one has cancer as well my family has been through so much but I've learned life just gets better!
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Spread the Word 3.04.15

Our annual day of awareness, the first Wednesday of every March, is fast approaching! Make sure you have all the resources you need to end the R-word on 03.04.15!

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    Pasadena, California
    8622 hours ago

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    Miami, Florida
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