Downs Syndrome Awareness Day – Meet Joshua


“My name is Joshua Holland and I am 25 years old. I LOVE movies and music of any kind and the more I can sing along, the better! I love watching Glee, American Idol and The Voice! I have some pretty awesome dance moves as well! If I had to choose a favorite food, it would be Whataburger hands down! I have an amazing Mom, two brothers, a sister, and nieces and nephews who love me more than anything in the world. Family vacations are my all-time favorite thing in the world. I am a King High School Graduate as well as a graduate of Mary Grett School. I am an athlete; I competed in the Special Olympics for my whole childhood and through my teen years and was lucky to win hundreds of medals! I worked at a Nursing Home and really want to get a job at the movie theatre or the Harbor Play House! I am so proud of my accomplishments, I love being independent and learning new things. Oh, and I also have something called Downs Syndrome. It’s an extra 21st chromosome that makes me totally awesome!

There are some things that I can’t do that bother me sometimes; I really would like to get my driver’s license, but I have gotten good at taking the bus to where I want to go. I might not get married, or have my own house but hey, never say never. I read a little slower than you, but I don’t see limitations, I see a life of laughter and love.

It makes me sad to think that people are afraid of having a child with Downs Syndrome because you would be missing out on so much!”

I would have loved to interview my brother Joshua for this article. Had I been blessed with the opportunity to sit down and interview him, I think the above is just about what he’d have to say, well maybe with a few more laughs. The kid was hilarious!

down syndrome

We lost Joshua to a courageous battle against Leukemia at the age of 25. He is missed by many every second of every day, but if anyone can help spread awareness about Downs Syndrome, it would be him. 

Downs children are inherently good and kind, trusting and loving to all they encounter. 

I was able to speak to my mom; Barbara, and she had a bit of advice for parents  and families blessed with a child with Downs Syndrome. Some of what she had to say was: 

“Make sure to have yearly check-ups to keep medical conditions at bay, introduce physical and speech therapy as early as possible, as it will be very beneficial in the long run as well as physical activity like swimming, soccer, dance, etc. Continue to set the bar higher and higher. They want to achieve their goals, and praise goes a long way. Be their champion! The fact that they are so inherently loving and trusting this can also be a potential danger, like with any child set boundaries about encountering people and situations. Above all, soak up every moment. You are blessed beyond words to have this amazing child in your life.” 

I hope this little glimpse into our Joshua helped you realize that people with Downs Syndrome and so much more than their extra 21st chromosome. They are a bright spot in the world and you are truly lucky if you get to bask in that glow even if briefly. Joshua was a lot of things in his life, but a person with Downs Syndrome was just one small part of all the things that made him wonderful.